Cops beef up presence after workers torch Mangaung City hall
Johannesburg – Free State police have vowed to intensify deployment after the Mangaung City Hall was set alight allegedly by municipal workers on Wednesday.
SAPS spokesperson Motantsi Makhele said on Thursday that the incident happened on Wednesday afternoon after officers had a confrontation with around 200 municipal workers who refused to disperse after a meeting at the hall.
"The workers started throwing stones at the police and passing motor vehicles which lead to police using stun grenades to disperse them."
Makhele said moments after the crowd dispersed the officers noticed smoke coming from the hall.
"Fire fighters were summoned to the scene but battled to extinguish the fire till around 22:00."
The police managed to arrest three people for public violence and a case of arson was registered for the torching of the hall.
"There are four cases of malicious damage to property which were registered in regards to vehicles that were damaged," Makhele said.
He said forensic investigators would be on the scene to conduct further investigations.
"We would like to appeal to our communities to refrain from destroying government properties no matter what differences they have with their employer," Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Moeketsi Semepe said.
"Our investigating team will work around the clock to detect the perpetrators who caused the fire and our people must rest assured that we won't allow any acts of intimidation or lawlessness to take place."