Protest in eMkhondo turns violent

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Kate-Merie Ferreira

On Thursday 24 March at approximately 13:15, about 50 members of the public along with 30 taxis, occupied by passengers, came together and blocked of Kotze Street in front of the Piet Retief SAPS premises.

According to the spokesperson of the Piet Retief SAPS, the group wanted a fellow taxi driver, who was recently placed under arrest for assault with Grievous Bodily Harm to be released.

Rumours are doing the rounds that thieves stole fuel from the taxi owners and one of them was caught and dealt with. If the allegations are true or false couldn’t be determined at the time of going to print. 

The protestors threw rocks and stones at members of the SAPS. They were apparently warned to stop but elected not to do so which forced the officers to shoot rubber bullets into the crowd in order to disperse the group.

The crowd responded by leaving some taxis in front of the station and then moved towards Church Street, where they blocked the corner of Church and Brand Street and allegedly proceeded to throw stones and rocks at civilian vehicles.

Members of the SAPS arrested 11 suspects between the ages of 22 and 40 for public violence. Some taxis were also confiscated.

Thank you to the members of the SAPS who acted swiftly and who did not allow those who acted violently to walk away without any consequences.