About 15 protesters, who took to the streets demanding “water supply” in Cargo Inn Village near Marite in Bushbuckridge last week, were arrested on charges of malicious damage to property and public violence.
The charges were laid against them after they allegedly damaged state property, including a police vehicle and a storeroom for books at Bakutswe Secondary School during the unrest. Provincial police spokesperson Col Leonard Hlathi, said they were discouraging people from committing crime during protests for service delivery. “We urge residents to follow the correct channels when they stage protests. Damage to property is an offence. We will continue to arrest those acting against the law in the name of protesting for service delivery,”
Hlathi said. Cooperative governance and traditional affairs MEC Madala Masuku expressed concern about the destruction of property in the name of service protests. “People must not allow criminal elements to mislead them. “We encourage community leaders and the community at large to engage in dialogue to resolve disputes,” Masuku said. “The government will not allow people to engage in criminal activities, vandalise and destroy public property. We thank police for acting swiftly to arrest some of the suspects,” Masuku said.