Residents from the troubled area of Vuwani, outside Thohoyandou in Limpopo have vowed to continue with their total shutdown of services, unless those who took part in a recent protest are released from the police cells on Monday morning.
Children in different villages were from Thursday last week, barred from going to school, while taxis and buses were also prevented from operating amid a protest action relating the demarcation issue.
Residents have for months been demanding that the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB), reverse its decision to include their area in a newly planned municipality in the Vhembe district.
Roads were also barricaded with huge rocks and rubble a day before the voter registration weekend.
Speaking to The Citizen on Monday morning, community leader, Arnold Mulaudzi said there were plans to call of the total shutdown on Sunday afternoon, but following a meeting with residents, it was then resolved that the protest action continue until those who were arrested for public violence are released.
“The anger expressed by residents was against the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), who wanted to conduct the voter registration under the auspices of the new municipality, which residents are against.
“More than 40 voter registration officers were not allowed to operate at the weekend,” Mulaudzi said.
He said the situation remained tense in the area on Monday, saying he had received reports of renewed clashes between the police and residents.
“Residents have made it clear that no barricaded roads should be cleared, at least until when those arrested are released,” said Mulaudzi.
He said the demarcation issue which is now before the courts, is expectedd to be heard between March 21 and 22.
Meanwhile parts of a school and a spaza shop were also burnt during the violent protest action in recent days in the Masokana village, while several police vehicles were also damaged by protesters.
Police spokesperson, Colonel Ronel Otto said the situation still remained tense, adding that police officers who were deployed to the area, will remain there until normality is fully email@example.com