The Provincial Commissioner of South African Police Service in North West, Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane has condemned in the strongest possible terms acts of public violence that were experienced in Bloemhof late on 21 October 2019.
It is alleged that after a case of kidnapping and assault against Thabang Motshabi was postponed until Wednesday, 23 October 2019, an unconfirmed number of community members went to a local supermarket and attempted to force the manager to close. The police reacted and ultimately used stun grenades to disperse the crowd. Thereafter, the N12 road was barricaded with various objects. Consequently, two trucks and a sedan’s windscreens were damaged due to stones that were thrown at passing motorists. As a result, and for the safety of motorists and the public, traffic was diverted to alternative roads.
A report was received later in the evening that a truck driver was robbed of his wallet, cell phone and the truck key. The truck was eventually removed from the road and towed away.
The N12 is currently opened for traffic. However, motorists are urged to exercise caution including on the R34 between Schweizer-Reneke and Bloemhof which still has some barricades.
Police are maintaining their presence in the area and also monitoring the situation in Phaposane village near Ganyesa where members of the community blocked the road in demand for water. It was during this illegal action that a police vehicle which was going to attend to a complaint was pelted with stones and damaged.
The Provincial Commissioner cautioned that the police will not hesitate to pursue and take drastic action against any person who disrespect the rule of law through violent community protests. She urged members of the community to refrain from damaging essential infrastructure as well as disrupting of services and schooling.
South Africa Today – South Africa News