PROTEST – At least six taxi’s and several other vehicles were damaged by protesters as violence continued unabated in Vuwani township in Limpopo.
Police said no arrests has been made, but said investigations were underway.
It is alleged that protesters were targeting taxi operators who were apparently defying community orders to suspend commuting business in the area.
Police spokesman Elaijah Malatji confirmed that taxis were damaged but said owners were still in the process of opening criminal cases.
Shops and schools remained closed in violence-plagued Vuwani township and surrounding areas as residents fight against government plans to incorporate their areas into a newly-established municipality.
Protesting residents took to the streets recently after they lost a high court case against the Municipal Demarcation Board.
At least twenty schools have been burnt and several others damaged during the ongoing protest.
Residents accuse government of not consulting them when it took a decision to include their areas under the Malamulele municipality.
The MDB had resolved that Vuwani, Hlanganani and part of Makhado would be clustered under the planned new municipality.
Community leader Nsovo Sambo said that it was never the community’s intention to to burn down schools, but said their grievances had been hijacked by criminal elements. However, he was adamant that the community would not back down over their demands.
“There is no need to engage government, we cannot continue to hold talks with government, we will only suspend shutdown when government reverses the decision,” said Sambo
“It is not for the first time we stage shutdown, we had a shutdown last year, but nothing was done, even by the Premier and (Co-operative Governance Minister Pravin Gordhan.”
“There is nothing we can say anymore, the situation will only change when the municipal demarcation board reverses the decision,” said Sambo
Sambo said they wanted their areas to be reincorporated into Makhado municipality as it was never their desire or submission to be part of a new municipality.
Government deployed several senior ministers to the area in a bid to quell the community anger and to address the violence.
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