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Violent protest action closer to home

A truck transporting potatoes was set alight by protestors at Mogalakwena Platinum Mine.

A truck transporting potatoes was set alight by protestors at Mogalakwena Platinum Mine.

Continuous violent protest action in Limpopo has been hitting headlines with the latest incidents being of roads blocked with burning tyres and stones in Mankweng and Seshego on Sunday and Monday respectively.

Provincial Police Spokesperson Ronel Otto informed that protestors at Nobody outside Tzaneen are angry about service delivery mainly water.
“Public Order Police were deployed to the scene immediately and protestors were dispersed before they could interrupt heavy traffic on the R71 during the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) pilgrimage,” she said.
Seshego Police Spokesperson Mothamane Malefo said disgruntled residents took to the streets with burning tyres and stones and blocked the entry to Seshego. “They allegedly accused the Polokwane Municipality of using the same database of service providers for renovations at the Seshego Stadium and demanded that other service providers should also be given an opportunity,” Malefo said. The road was cleared by Police soon after angry residents were dispersed. The fire brigade was called to extinguish burning tyres.
At Vuwani, the Mogalakwena Platinum Mine outside Mokopane and the Zebediela area some roads are still blocked although the violent protest experienced earlier has quietened down.
“Last week Thursday protestors at the Mogalakwena Mine turned violent and a truck carrying potatoes was set alight. Some of the roads around the mine are still barricaded but the situation is calm. Public Order Police members remain on the scene to monitor the situation,” Otto said.
At Vuwani a similar situation exists. Forceful protest by residents against new municipal boundary demarcations swept through Vuwani where the community is demanding the reversal of a decision to include their area in a new municipality that will also include Malamulele. Roads were blocked, shops looted and reports were also received of a school being set alight. “No schools were damaged during the protests. Schools were closed and at one school tyres were set alight close to the school but damaged were reported,” Otto said.
She added that Police will remain visible in all areas where protest actions were reported.
At around 18:00 on Monday night violent protests erupted in the Marapong township just outside Lephalale and 21 buses belonging to the Lowveld Bus Company and used to transport workers to the Exxaro Mine and Medupi Power Station. Protestors were hi-jacking buses and using it to block roads. A municipal office and a library as well as a satellite Police station were also reportedly burnt down. Former construction workers who were fired after industrial action earlier this year as well as those whose contracts have been terminated are said to be responsible for the protests.

Story: RC Myburgh
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