Buildings alight and mayor taken hostage in Ditsobotla

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Buildings alight and mayor taken hostage in Ditsobotla

Jan Bornman | 2017-05-24 19:58:48.0

Fire raging at Ditsobotla municipal office in Lichtenburg, allegedly torched by service delivery protesters

Image by: Jacqueline Theologo

Parts of the Ditsobotla municipal offices in North West have been set alight and the mayor has been taken hostage by members of the community.

North West provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said: “The information we have received is that parts of the municipal offices have been set alight‚ but the fire was extinguished.

“The mayor is also currently being held hostage.”

The DA’s Jacqueline Theologo‚ who was on the scene‚ said about 40 members from the nearby Phola community stormed into the municipal offices on Wednesday afternoon and took the mayor hostage.

Theologo said the community had threatened to set themselves alight out of sheer desperation for their concerns to be heard.

“Service delivery is in a terrible state in this area. It is really a hell of a situation‚” she said.

Theologo said police were currently negotiating with the community members who had taken the mayor hostage

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Fire raging at Ditsobotla municipal office in Lichtenburg, allegedly torched by service delivery protesters. Picture: Jacqueline Theologo

In a statement‚ the DA in the North West called on community protesters to “immediately cease violence and criminal activity”.

“This hostage situation is sheer lawless behaviour in a democratic society‚ and must be condemned. We understand that people are fed-up with the bad service‚” the statement said.

“We condemn the taking of hostages to make a political point‚ in the strongest possible terms‚” it added.

TMG Digital/TimesLIVE



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