Police condemned recent violent protest action by community members in various parts of Limpopo which has seen roads blockaded with stones and burning tyres as well as vehicles being pelted with stones.
Reports were received of a service delivery protest going on at Ga-Kgapane outside Modjadjiskloof since last Wednesday. Motorists travelling in the area were alerted on social media groups that the R81 at the Ga-Kgapane turn-off was being barricaded with stones and that alternative roads should be used. Motorists were able to access Modjadjiskloof from Tzaneen but not via Mooketsi.
Protestors were allegedly disgruntled over water supply to the area. Similar action by protesters at Nwamitwa Village outside Tzaneen, the R37 Lydenburg Ohrigstad road as well as Kellysville outside Lydenburg were also reported. It was learnt that learners were not able to attend school and some Grade 12 learners might have missed out on their papers supposed to be written. Several commuters were stranded and could not attend work while motorists and buses were stopped and passengers allegedly robbed of posessions.
Provincial Police Spokesperson Moatshe Ngoepe indicated that the situation was calm at the time of going to print.
Public Order Policing Unit (Pops) were deployed at Lephalale last Thursday when violent protest was conducted by members of a labour union at one of the mines in the area. Ngoepe said roads were obstructed, vehicles showered with stones and two buses set alight. Pops reacted immediately and the situation was brought to a calm. Police opened cases of malicious damage to property and public violence.
Provincial Police Commissioner Nneke Ledwaba urged community members to follow due processes when ventilating their complaints and to desist from engaging in acts of vigilantism.
“This type of behaviour is totally uncalled for and it must be stopped immediately as no problem can be solved by creating another. The Police will act decisively against anyone who commits crime in the name of protests,” Ledwaba was quoted to have said.