A total of 340 suspects had been apprehended in four policing clusters within the North West since the outbreak of the violence-marred protests in Mahikeng on April 18. Picture: AP

Potchefstroom - North West police have urged parents to exercise strict control over their children following incidents of children illegally blocking roads and demanding cash from motorists during recent protests. 

Following the outbreak of violent protests in the province that were also accompanied by looting since Wednesday, April 18, the provincial joint operational and intelligence structure (ProvJoints) has reiterated its commitment to stabilise and normalise the situation, Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said on Sunday.

Although the situation had stabilised in the past three days in most places, some incidents in which stones were thrown at cars had been reported on Friday evening along the N14 in Tshing, Ventersdorp.

"Members of the community and parents are urged to always know their children's whereabouts. This is after it became apparent that there are children at various places within the province who block roads with objects then demand payments from motorists before allowing them to pass. What is disturbing about this illegal activities is that they are committed generally by young children. Since the outbreak of the violence, two lives have been lost. The victims are aged 16 and 24 respectively," Mokgwabone said.
 
"It is important that parents exercise strict control over their children, as such illegal actions of blocking roads to operate the so-called toll gates may lead to injuries and deaths in some instances." 

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While the ProvJoints was committed to stabilise the situation through implementation of the integrated national plan, it was also imperative that the community and various structures be actively involved to condemn criminality and work together with police to ensure that criminals were arrested. 

A total of 340 suspects had been apprehended in four policing clusters within the North West since the outbreak of the violence-marred protests in Mahikeng on April 18, Mokgwabone said.

African News Agency/ANA