19 Apr 2018, North West: As part of ensuring calm and reasserting the authority of the state in Mahikeng, the police have arrested nine suspects since eruption of violent community protests in the early hours of Wednesday, 18 April 2018.
The suspects were arrested in Montshioa and surrounding villages respectively for public violence and malicious damage to property. They are expected to appear in the Mmabatho Magistrates’ Court soon.
Yesterday, after the police had managed to calm the situation, violence erupted in the evening in Unit 9, Unit 13 and Unit 14. It was during the night that a truck trailer was torched in Moshawane village outside Mahikeng while a vehicle and a truck were set alight separately along Mahikeng-Vryburg road.
HAPPENING NOW: Protesters in Montshioa in Mahikeng in the North West are burning tyres blocking various parts of the area. Public Order Police on sight. Police tell me they believe these are anti-#Mahumapelo protests. @eNCApic.twitter.com/Lfwd8qtRBb
There were also incidents of looting that were reported in areas such as Lomanyaneng, Montshioa and Mmabatho.
The North West Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane condemned in the strongest possible terms the continued violence and said that police will do everything in their power to ensure that there is stability in Mahikeng.
“We will not hesitate to take harsh steps against anybody who disregards the rule of law.’” said the Provincial Commissioner.
Due to a number of roads that still have barricades, motorists are once more requested to comply with directives given by law enforcement officials.
Earlier on, Community Safety and Transport Management MEC, Dr Mpho Motlhabane said people do not have the right to destroy public and private properties. “South Africa is a democratic country where people have rights as enshrined in the Constitution.
While people have the right to gather and march, their rights are not above any other rights. There is no right in the constitution that grants anyone a permission to burn and destroy public and private properties. If you transgress the law, you will face the full might of the law,” said Motlhabane.
The police deployments will remain in the area to ensure that normality is restored in the area. Members of the public are discouraged from participating in illegal activities, but to report them to the police.