20 suspects arrested in connection with protests in Giyani, Lephalale & Northam

Residents blocked the R81 between Giyani and Malamulele with sand during a community protest in the area. Photo: Limpopo police

LIMPOPO – In a concerted effort to deal head-on with the spate of violent protests which have erupted in a number of clusters this week, clean-up operations conducted by the Public Order Police (POP) Unit have made a major breakthrough in arresting 20 suspects, says police spokesperson, Col Moatshe Ngoepe.

Read more: Lim police condemn acts of public violence following protests across the province

In the Giyani policing area, 12 suspects between the ages of 18 and 42-years-old, were arrested for public violence and malicious damage to property, occurring during violent protests which erupted in the area by residents from a number of villages including Khakhala, Gawula, Mahlathi and Hlomela, outside Giyani.

The arrests follow residents who went on the rampage and barricaded the R81 road between Giyani and Malamulele with sand. The same residents barricaded another road between Giyani and Thomo.

“Seven of the arrested suspects briefly appeared before the Giyani Magistrates Court and were all released on warning. Their cases were postponed to6 August 2018 for further police investigations to take place,” Ngoepe added.

The remaining five suspects will still appear before the same court soon.

In the Lephalale cluster, six suspects between the ages of 21 and 25-years-old were arrested for public violence, intimidation and common robbery.

These arrests follow violent protest action which erupted in the Ga-Seleka area, outside Lephalale, where a group of people calling themselves the “Ga-Seleka concerned group”, barricaded the D3110 road with their private vehicles as well as the R572 road which leads to the Ga-Seleka Community Hall and blocked it with stones.

Photo: Limpopo police

Meanwhile, in the Northam policing area, near Thabazimbi, two suspects were arrested for malicious damage to property and public violence.

Read more: Health MEC expresses outrage over attack on EMS personnel

This arrest was made after five trucks were hijacked, two of them torched as well as an ambulance. Seven people were also assaulted by a group of protesters along the Northam and Brits road on 20 June 2018.

Photo: Limpopo police

“More arrests are expected and anyone with information which can lead to the arrest of the remaining suspects involved in this heinous act may contact Lieutenant Colonel Nditsheni Jeoffrey Ramatsitsi at 082 843 7129; the crime stop number 08600 10111; the crime line sms 32211 or the nearest police station,” Ngoepe concluded.

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  AUTHOR
Raeesa Kimmie
JOURNALIST (ONLINE)

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