22 January 2013

South Africa: Sasolburg Residents Flock to Stadium

Photo: SABC Digital News
Violent protests in Sasolburg, Free State.

Sasolburg — Sasolburg residents were flocking to the Moses Kotane Stadium in Zamdela in the Free State on Tuesday morning after violent protests in the area.

Minister of Co-operative Governance and Public Affairs Richard Baloyi was expected to address them.

Some carried umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun. A group inside the stadium sang and chanted struggle songs.

Children said they had been told not to go to school. Some said they had gone, but their teachers were not there.

Roads in the area were covered with burnt debris on Tuesday. A police helicopter hovered overhead to keep a watch on protesters.

Police said 187 people had been arrested since Sunday in the protests, which were apparently about plans to merge Sasolburg with the Ngwathe local municipality, under which Parys fell.

Constable Peter Kareli said no violence was reported on Monday night.

On Monday, protesters set two trucks alight and injured two police officers inside a Nyala (armoured) vehicle, which had became stuck in mud.

Water cannons and rubber bullets were used to disperse the crowd. Some residents barricaded roads and threw stones at police cars.

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