More arrests expected for Limpopo town’s public violence as suspects appear in court
Johannesburg - The seven suspects involved in the Phalaborwa public violence, which saw pupils being hindered from going to school, have appeared at the Namakgale Magistrate’s Court.
The suspects are Ngwako Monyela, 30, SANDF member Tshepo Malungani, 53, Katlego Malatji, 29, Maredzi Malatji, 34, Lebogang Shokane, 28, Khali Malatji, 32, and Joe Masilo Mashale, 48, have been remanded in custody after the case was postponed until next Tuesday, April 20.
They were arrested earlier on Thursday morning for partaking in alleged violent protests which saw the town of Phalaborwa disrupted as they blocked roads, preventing pupils from going to school and people from getting to work. Shops had to be closed as well and additional police had to be deployed to the area to quell the violence.
Limpopo police spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said further investigations were still being done by the police.
“The suspects were arrested after Phalaborwa town was almost deserted when the R71 road, R40 road and other subsidiary roads were blocked by protesters using tree branches, burning tyres and rocks on Friday, April 9, 2021.
“The violent protests hugely disrupted tranquillity in the affected areas as children could not go to school, people could not go to work and shops were closed. More police members had to be deployed to quell the violence,” said Ngoepe.
He said two other suspects, Peter and Mavis Malatji, 50 and 35 respectively were arrested on Monday and appeared in the Namakgale Magistrate’s Court, where Mavis collapsed in court as they were remanded in custody.
“They have since appeared before the Namakgale Magistrate’s Court and the woman collapsed in court soon after they were remanded in custody and had to be rushed to hospital where she has been admitted under police guard.
“Both will again appear in the same court on April 20, 2021. More arrests are expected,” said Ngoepe.