Six people arrested on charges of malicious damage to property were expected to appear in the Burgersfort Magistrate’s Court yesterday (Wednesday) after four trucks were set alight on the road between Burgersfort and Eerstegeluk on Monday and Tuesday during incidents of service delivery protest.
According to Provincial Police Spokesperson Ronel Otto the first incident occurred on Sunday evening. “A warning was immediately issued to motorists to avoid the R555 and the Public Order Policing Unit was dispatched to the scene. Some unhappy residents flagged down a truck and set it alight. No one was injured during the incidents,” Otto said.
Monday morning another truck was set alight and the roads were blockaded by burning tyres and stones followed by another incident in the evening. “We have cleared the road and is open for use again, however, burning tyres and stones are continuously put in the road by residents. Public Order Police Unit members remain on the scene,” Otto said. She added that protestors were allegedly unhappy about a new road meant to have been built some time ago that has not materialised.
In another incident Mecklenburg Police arrested 47 people on charges of public violence, malicious damage to property and arson after the looting and burning of two taverns and a truck in the area last Friday.
“They have already appeared in Mecklenburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday. Some were released on bail while others remained in custody until their next appearance,” Otto said, adding that they appeared in groups and that it was difficult to give feedback on the outcome of the court sessions.
Four of the arrestees were also charged with possession of stolen property after the looting. Large amounts of liquor, cigarettes, cold drinks, other groceries and television sets were recovered.
“Angry residents allegedly accused the owner of the two taverns of the murder of a young woman two weeks ago. Her body was found in front of her house with a bullet wound to the head. Her lips, nose and private parts were cut off and found next to her body. Her ex-boyfriend was initially arrested but could not be linked to the murder,” Otto said.
Story: RC Myburgh