The front of the destroyed: Amahtlathi Municipality building. Picture: ANA

East London - Businesses have closed down in the town of Stutterheim in the Eastern Cape following two days of violent protests. 

The protests began Tuesday when unemployed young people from the nearby Mlungisi township took to the streets and burned down municipal buildings of the Amahtlathi Municipality, Amathole District Municipality Satellite Offices and the local clinic.

At least one person is alleged to have been killed in clashes with police although this could not be confirmed.

Protesters claim that they are not getting jobs from the municipality due to nepotism and jobs for sex and bribery. 

Noluthando Ngomane, one of the protesters, said: "We are not getting jobs here, people who are getting employed are relatives of those that are working there. If you don't have a relative you have to sleep with someone or pay bribe to someone." 

The ruins of the Stutterheim Clinic. Picture: ANA


Ngomane said they gave a petition to Amahtlathi Municipality last month but their complaints were not addressed. She said: "I don't support the burning of facilities but if that is the way for authorities to take us seriously, so be it."

Protesters also alleged that the local municipal mayor Pateka Qaba is not a resident of that municipality and she gives jobs to people that are coming outside of Amahtlathi. 

Police have arrested at least 18 people.

African News Agency (ANA)