File photo: Ihsaan Haffejee
File photo: Ihsaan Haffejee

High police presence in Bekkersdal

By Sapa Time of article published Oct 16, 2013

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Johannesburg - Police were monitoring the area of Bekkersdal near Westonaria on Wednesday following a violent service delivery protest, said Gauteng police.

Constable Thembi Masango said the area was quiet at around 9am.

“Things are still quiet but we have a high police presence,” she said.

Thirty-five people were arrested for public violence during the protests on Tuesday.

It was unclear when they would appear in court.

Protesters threw stones at the local police station, damaging three police vehicles and a disaster management vehicle.

Police also found that a petrol bomb had been thrown at the station, said Masango.

On Wednesday, the Democratic Alliance said Bekkersdal residents were frustrated as the Westonaria municipality was failing to deliver proper services.

DA MPL Fred Nel said although they condemned violent protests, they understood the frustration of the Bekkersdal community.

This was not the first protest held in the area this year.

“The ANC-governed Westonaria municipality is one of the two worst performing municipalities in Gauteng. The other being neighbouring Randfontein, which will soon be merged with Westonaria as indicated by the Municipal Demarcation Board,” said Nel.

He said merging the troubled municipalities would not have a positive outcome.

“(It) will only worsen their problems and the frustration of residents,” he said.

He called on Gauteng's local government MEC Ntombi Mekgwe to investigate the managerial problems in the area. - Sapa

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