Police will intervene in Malamulele
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Johannesburg - Police will move to clamp down on unrest in Malamulele, Limpopo, so that schooling and services can resume, Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko's office said on Tuesday evening.
“The minister has directed that police move in to open the township and remove barricades; the criminal element behind protests be arrested, and that learners be allowed to resume classes,” spokesman Musa Zondi said in a statement.
Protesters have shut down the town in their demand for a separate municipality after complaints about poor service from Thulamela municipality.
The Municipal Demarcation Board has already dismissed a proposal for a separate municipality.
Nhleko said an abnormal situation such as that at Malamulele could not be allowed to become normal.
“Those who are stopping pupils from going to school are not only anti-development, but they are also committing crimes in terms of the Schools Act.
“The anarchy and the wanton destruction of schools and other buildings cannot be allowed to go on and police will have to arrest anyone who breaks the law,” he said.
A joint operations centre had been established in Malamulele and Nhleko would stay there for the rest of the week to monitor progress.
Zondi said: “The minister noted that while peaceful protest was a right all South Africans enjoyed, this right cannot be exercised at the expense of the people who want their children to continue with their education or who need their grants to feed their families and to meet other needs.”