Twelve in court for burning houses
Bloemfontein - Twelve people appeared in the Bothaville Magistrate's Court on Monday for allegedly burning eight houses in the local Kgotsong township, Free State Police said.
Captain Stephen Thakeng said the case was postponed to next Monday for a formal bail application.
The 12 face charges of public violence, malicious damage to property, arson, and attempted murder.
“Twelve suspects were arrested in Bothaville after four Nala municipality councillors' houses were burnt down.”
Another two houses and the library were damaged, and two Kgotsong residents' houses were burnt down.
Sam Ndlovu, 31, Koos Motsili, 29, Jona Mabunda, 28, Carlos Machava, 31, Sello Malefane, 42, Mokete Namola, 41, Moses Xaba, 30, David Schalkwyk, 24, Serame Khumalo, 24, and Motlalepule Chaana, 18, appeared in court on Monday.
Godfrey Tsoai, 51, and Plaatjie Ndisisa, 30, appeared separately.
Thakeng could not comment on a report in the Sowetan on Monday that the houses were burnt down in clashes between Economic Freedom Fighters and African National Congress members.
“We can't confirm this for now. I don't want to say much on it for now because the case is in court,” he said.
Meanwhile, EFF convenor in the province, Kgotso Morapela, said there had been unrest in the area since September because of a lack of services. He said when the EFF wrote to the mayor a junior official responded.
“The EFF took an issue with that because they were sent from pillar to post and have been undermined,” he said.
The party's representatives demanded to meet the mayor, but nothing happened. They then went to the township to tell residents they were not happy, he said.
“They started to sing and the situation went out of control,” he said.
The ANC and mayor's office were not immediately available to comment.