People walk past a barricaded area at Kubjana village near Tzaneen in Limpopo where villagers are protesting against the recent brutal killing of a 20-year-old woman. The murdered woman had her hand removed, and her cellphone and house keys were placed inside her stomach which had been ripped open. Her arms had been tied behind her back. Two people were taken in for questioning but later released. On Thursday, residents of Kubjana torched the house of a businessman suspected of kidnapping a three-year-old boy. The boy was found dead in the boot of the man's car. Three more people have died amid the protests in the area.Picture: Chester Makana/SAPA

Tzaneen - Eighteen people have been arrested since the start of the protests in the Relela and Kubjana villages, near Tzaneen, at the weekend, Limpopo police said on Friday.

Nine were arrested in Relela and appeared in the Bolobedu Magistrate's Court on Thursday on charges of public violence, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

The case was postponed to February 11 and the accused would remain in custody. Mulaudzi said 21 police officers were injured during the clashes.

The other nine were arrested in Kubjana on Thursday night on charges of public violence, malicious damage to property and arson after they allegedly set fire to a local businessman's house, car and shop. A child was found suffocated in the boot of his car. Two other children found locked in his car were unharmed. Locals had accused him of kidnapping the children.

The nine would appear in the Bolobedu Magistrate's Court on Monday.

In a separate incident in Kutama village near Makhado, 98 people were arrested after they alleged attacked a group of men who reportedly hanged a man from a tree in December.

“Four houses and four vehicles, of which two were police vehicles, were set alight and destroyed in the violence.”

Of the 98 a total of 32 people were charged with the violence and appeared in the Makhado Magistrate's Court on Friday. The case was postponed to February 7 and they remained in custody.

The remaining 66 people, mostly children, were released into their parents' custody.