Police are on high alert in Bloemhof

Johannesburg – Police in the North West town of Bloemhof were expecting trouble as the weekend approached, with locals having spent the week without safe drinking water and widespread diarrhoea.

Constable Meokgo Ledibana, of the Bloemhof police station, told Sapa people intended protesting on Monday.

“Sometimes when you open the taps, s**t comes out. It’s been five years since we had a water problem in Bloemhof. The community have applied for a march on Monday,” she said.

“There will be no school or work. We are anticipating violent protests. Police are on high alert. Public order policing are also on high alert as well as the TRT (tactical response team).”

Warrant Officer Gerda Lambrechts said the last time the area had water problems riots occurred.

“It’s a problem for us because we’ve had this problem before. It even turned into riots where community members violently protested and burned seven police officers’ houses, (plus) the mayor’s house on April 7 this year.”

The provincial water affairs department said on Friday it was aware that the contamination in the area was related to a sewage spillage.

A baby died on Wednesday after contracting severe diarrhoea. On Friday, the health department said another five babies were admitted to hospital for observation. Over 200 people were treated in local clinics for diarrhoea this week.

Elisa Kadi, a cleaning lady at the police station, said toilets had not been flushed at the station as there was no water.

“Toilets were used and not flushed (at the police station). We have stomach camps. Prisoners could not go to toilets because there was no water.”…


South Africa Today – South Africa News – Bloemhof