The Provincial Police cannot as yet confirm whether the protests in and around Polokwane this morning (Friday) are related to the action steered nationally in defiance against President Jacob Zuma or the downtown attacks on foreigners the past week and a half.
Thus far reports had been received about routes leading into Polokwane being barricaded with burning tyres, stones and debris and Police officials were deployed to deal with the situation, Provincial Police Corporate Communications Head Motlafela Mojapelo informed Polokwane Observer. Earlier today Polokwane Observer posted breaking news about unrest around Seshego, Extension 76 and the N1 North, but Mojapelo could only confirm protests along the Matlala road and Nelson Mandela Drive.
He stated that for now it was difficult to say if the protests were linked to the national march or the series of attacks in the lower section of Polokwane’s Central Business District the past more than a week. The first occurred last Monday evening when a Somalian national was allegedly assaulted by six assailants after an accident with a taxi at the intersection of Rissik and Onder Streets. It preceded stone throwing and shots being fired that evening, only to be followed by shops reportedly being looted and cars being set alight in Boom Street the following morning. Around the same time the shops of foreign business owners in the area, as well as Extension 44 and Luthuli Park came under attack, Polokwane Observer was informed.
Late yesterday morning information was received about a 35-year-old man, suspected of being of Nigerian descent, having been forced off the road in his Volkswagen Polo by what seemed to have been the occupants of three taxis in Superbia, whereupon he was brutally beaten and forced into one of the taxis before it left the scene. In a Police statement reference was made to the man having been killed at a taxi rank on the corner of Devenish and Buite Street. He was allegedly stripped naked and beaten to death with sticks and stones.