Fifteen people have been arrested for public violence in Vuwani, Limpopo, as protests against incorporation into a new municipality continued.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Ronel Otto said on Sunday the situation was tense in Vuwani.
“Roads leading to and from Vuwani are still blocked with rocks. Four police vehicles were damaged during patrols last night [Saturday] after they were pelted with stones; no police officer was injured.”
The police vehicles’ windows were smashed, as were those of a minibus taxi, she said.
The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) on Saturday said Vuwani was one of the protest-hit and volatile areas in the country. Police had advised the IEC to withdraw staff from these areas due to safety concerns.
Vuwani residents launched a series of protests last year after the announcement by the Municipal Demarcation Board that Vuwani would be part of a new municipality yet to be named in Malamulele.
The Malamulele municipality was promulgated after residents there protested for months, demanding their own municipality, separate from Thulamela municipality, which they accused of failing to deliver basic services.
Vuwani residents argued that they never asked authorities to include their area within the new municipality being planned for Malamulele. They demanded to be moved back to Makhado municipality.
Damage to property, such as businesses, vehicles, and schools, has rocked the Vuwani area. Residents vowed to disrupt the voter registration drive this weekend.