National 9.9.2016 10:34 am

Police deployed to violence-torn Vuwani recalled

The number of police deployed in Vuwani has been reduced as peace talks resume over the issue of demarcation. PHOTO: Chester Makana/ANA

The number of police deployed in Vuwani has been reduced as peace talks resume over the issue of demarcation. PHOTO: Chester Makana/ANA

Talks to reinstate Vuwani back to Makhado resumed this week.

Police in Limpopo say they have begun scaling down on the massive deployment of staff to the violence-torn Vuwani district in the province.

“We have started scaling down the massive deployment that were made during violence, but we will continue to keep an eye in the area,” said provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.

Large contingents of police from surrounding districts had joined the local Vuwani Police Station earlier this year when violent community protests broke out over a municipal demarcation decision. The protests, which were widely condemnded, left at least 23 schools gutted or badly damaged as residents vented their anger at government.

Amid the police and security crackdown, there have been allegations of police brutality and torture as authorities sought to pin down the ringleaders behind the violence.

Damage estimated at R440 million was caused to school infrastructure, leading to huge disruptions to schooling in the area.

Schooling resumed last month and Mojapelo said the reduction in deployment meant resources could now be deployed to other areas.

The protests erupted following the Municipal Demarcation Board’s (MDB) decision – subsequently upheld by the courts – to move the area from the Makhado municipality in order to be incorporated under a newly created municipality.

Talks to reinstate Vuwani back to Makhado resumed this week.

The provincial Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) spokesperson Khathu Razwiedani said MEC Makoma Makhurupetje had reinstated the process.

He said Makhurupetje would lead the provincial legislature in discussing Vuwani leaders’ submission as agreed during peace deal.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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