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Cops probe Limpopo school fires

By SAPA Time of article published Feb 3, 2015

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Polokwane - Limpopo police were investigating the cause of three school fires in Malamulele and surrounding areas on Tuesday.

“At this stage, the administration blocks of three schools have been damaged by fire,” Colonel Ronel Otto said.

The first was at the Malamulele High School in the town centre, the second at a school in Gikana village, 30 to 40km from Malamulele, and the third at a school in nearby Xikunda village.

“Although arson is suspected, in all three cases the cause of the fire has not been established yet, but we are awaiting a forensics team from Pretoria,” Otto said.

“At this stage, no arrests have been made and our investigations are continuing.”

The fire at the high school was believed to have taken place late Monday evening, while the other two were believed to have started early Tuesday morning.

Otto said Malamulele was quiet early on Tuesday afternoon.

“Police are monitoring the situation as it develops,” she said.

The township of Malamulele had been tense and under heavy police watch following a month of violent protests.

Protests first started in Malamulele before the general elections in May last year. The unrest re-ignited last month with residents demanding that they get their own municipality.

On Friday, the Municipal Demarcation Board's announcement that Malamulele did not qualify for its own municipality led to roads being blocked and tyres being set alight in protest.

Residents have alleged that the Thulamela municipality has been channelling services to Tshivenda-speaking areas, rather than their own, which is dominated by Xitsonga speakers.

Sapa

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