Seven arrested for violent protests outside Kimberley
Tanya Steenkamp | 2017-01-30 16:04:28.0
Image by: Gallo Images/Thinkstock
In 2012 about 16‚000 Northern Cape children were forced to stay away from school during protests for roads. On Monday locals once again went on the rampage for roads and housing.
Police moved swiftly to quell tensions and arrested seven people for public violence.
Protestors from the Santa Centre informal settlement began protesting early on Monday morning. They blocked Barkly Road between Galeshewe and Kimberley with burnt tyres and refuse material.
According to Colonel Mohale Ramatseba‚ acting head of Northern Cape corporate communication‚ the residents were protesting about a lack of housing and road access to the area.
Kimberley Public Order Police are monitoring the area which has been peaceful since Mayor of Sol Plaatjie Municipality‚ Councillor Mangaliso Matika addressed residents.
Matika will meet again with the disgruntled community at 5pm again to discuss a way forward.
Lieutenant-General Risimati Shivuri ‚ provincial SAPS commissioner‚ warned protesters that they will not tolerate law breakers and those disturbing the flow of traffic.
More than four years ago all hell broke out in John Taolo Gaetsewe district municipality when people demanded roads to link distant villages in the area. Buildings were set alight and entrances to villages were blocked. But they also intimidated teachers and pupils to stay away from school. Approximately 16‚000 children were forced to stay at home for three months.
At the time public works spokeswoman in the province‚ Crystal Robertson‚ said it would cost between R1.3-billion and R1.6-billion to have the roads tarred‚ upgraded and repaired.