Picture: SAPS
Picture: SAPS
Picture: SAPS
Picture: SAPS
Picture: SAPS
Picture: SAPS

Groblersdal - Limpopo police commissioner Lt-Gen Nneke Ledwaba has deployed additional public order police officers in the Zaaiplaas area at Groblersdal to help normalise the situation after yet another arson attack during violent protests, police said on Saturday.

The intervention followed the torching of a school administration block at Leriane Secondary School in Holneck village at about 10.30pm on Friday night, Lt-Col Moatshe Ngoepe said.

Police and the fire department were notified after a passerby noticed flames on top of the administration block.

This incident followed two separate earlier incidents in which a police van was set alight and a police officer was injured, and the burning of the administration block at Rehlahlilwe Primary School in Keerom, also in the Zaaiplaas area. 

"It is alleged that a group of community members went on [the] rampage and torched this building before running away. Since these violent protests started in the area, five suspects aged between 28 and 50 were arrested for public violence. The police are currently on the hunt for more suspects who also include ringleaders," Ngoepe said.

Picture: SAPS

The unrest started when a group of community members from Zaaiplaas started violent protests a week ago by barricading the R579. Cases of malicious damage to property, assault, and arson were opened. Investigations were continuing, Ngoepe said.

Ledwaba again warned the community in the Zaaiplaas area that the suspects involved in the violence, characterised by the destruction of property, would be "hunted down and brought to book". 

He called on communities intending to protest to do so within the boundaries of the law. Destroying schools was detrimental to the future of children and could not be tolerated. The perpetrators would face the full might of the law, Ledwaba said.

Anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the suspects involved in these incidents should please contact Captain Richard Boshomane at 079-894-5501, or the crime stop number 08600-10111 or the crime line sms 32211, or the nearest police station.

African News Agency/ANA