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Teen killed in violent Ditsobotla protest

Murder accused farmers Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte. File picture: ANA

Murder accused farmers Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte. File picture: ANA

Published Oct 10, 2017


North West - A 15-year-old boy was shot dead and two other people wounded when a driver of a car fired shots at protesters along the Boikhutso-Lichtenburg road on Tuesday, North West police said.

"Investigation into the matter continues. Although the suspect is not yet arrested, he is known and the police are working hard to ensure that he is brought to book," Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane, said.

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A truck was torched in the early hours of Tuesday, on the Lichtenburg-Coligny road and the road was barricaded with burning tyres and other objects.

"We would like to urge members of the community to remain calm and allow the police to conduct investigation of both incidents. We also want to make it clear that no violence will be tolerated and the police will not hesitate to act against any person who disrespects the rule of law."

Motswenyane condemned public violence incidents and urged members of the community to refrain from damaging properties as well as taking the law into their own hands.

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) described the incidents as an extremely sad day for Ditsobotla.

"I see and feel the frustration, anger and unhappiness of all our communities. I wish to express my condolences on behalf of the DA for the child who lost his life here today. This is a sad, sad day. We wish the other injured a speedy recovery," said Jacqueline Theologo, the Ditsobotla constituency head.

"We strongly condemn this violent act, we cannot allow service delivery issues to impact us in this way. A child’s life is now lost due to issues that we are having with the government. Having said that – we lost one life. Let us stop now and prevent any other deaths. Let us not lose any more lives. This started out as a protest demanding better living conditions but has now escalated to a full-blown war. This town and area belong to us all..."

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She said Ditsobotla municipality had not properly recovered from the protests earlier this year. 

A police armoured vehicle was set alight in Blydeville in April and a truck transporting day-old chickens was also torched. 

In Coligny also in Ditsobotla, six houses were torched after a teenage boy, Matlhomola Mosweu was allegedly killed by two farmers -- Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte -- who accused him of stealing sunflower.

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"This hurt our community, our area, our economy and is unacceptable in a democratic South Africa where were should respect law and order," said Theologo.

"The DA urges the community to remain calm and to refrain from violence. We acknowledge the right to protest but we ask you to please do it in a responsible, legal manner." 

African News Agency

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