Westenburg Police are investigating a case of arson and malicious damage to property after the guardhouse at the entrance of Ga-Rena Rental Village in Ladanna was set alight on Tuesday evening.
Police Spokesperson in Westenburg Mohlaka Mashiane said the fire was allegedly started by angry residents after an alleged meeting with officials from Polokwane Municipality.
“We are still investigating the case as to how the fire was started. We cannot confirm allegations of the guardhouse being petrol bombed. Investigations will reveal who was responsible for the fire and how it was started,” Mashiane said.
He added that a resident’s vehicle was parked close to the entrance was also slightly damaged by the fire.
No arrests have been made yet.
“It is believed that this action was trigerred by cracking down on 24 tenants that were bridging electricity,” Polokwane Municipality’s Marketing and Communications Manager Tidimalo Chuene said.
Polokwane Executive Mayor Thembi Nkadimeng during a networking session with media on Wednesday confirmed the incident and said the violence is yet again a result of residents who are unhappy about ongoing issues such as ownership of the units at Ga-Rena as well as action by the municipality to disconnect water and electricity supply to residents who are in debt.
Residents of Ga-Rena Rental Village also made headlines in the media when violent protest action in December last year saw streets being barricaded, tyres burnt and the Police being pelted with objects.
The residents then complained of poorly installed water meters, internal and external water leakages, leaking roofs and toilets and that the municipality had changed the initial rent-to-buy lease agreements without consulting them.
Story: RC Myburgh