8 arrests, reports of assault on police officer during Westenburg protests

One of the police vehicles which was damaged during the protests, Photo: Lim Police

POLOKWANE – Public Order Police members were deployed to the Westenburg area yesterday after residents went on a rampage, burning tyres and other debris and blocking roads in and out of Westenburg as well as surrounding areas, said the police.

During the incident officers used rubber bullets to disperse the rowdy protesters and during the skirmish one police officer was injured when protesters threw stones at the officers, said Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.

Eight suspects (aged between 29 and 56) were arrested and will face charges of assault on police, malicious damage to property and contravention of road traffic act and the gatherings act.

[WATCH] Live scenes from the Westenburg protest

Additional cases of malicious damage to property are being investigated after two police vehicles, a van and a truck, which were parked in the police station yard were also damaged on Tuesday evening.

“It is alleged the suspects cut the fence surrounding the station and threw flammable object at the vehicles and fled the scene.”

All arrested suspect will appear before the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court soon.

The police appeal to anyone with information that can lead to the apprehension of the culprits to contact the Crime Stop number 086001011, or contact the nearest police station, he concluded.

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