EFF members in court after houses burnt

Picture: Thinkstock

Picture: Thinkstock

Four Economic Freedom Fighters members appeared in the Bothaville Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday for allegedly burning eight houses in the local Kgotsong township, Free State Police said.

The case against Moses Malebatso, 41, Phaki Mafojane, 36, Molantoa Molale, 42, and Letsoa Mohlaba, 40, was postponed to Monday for a formal bail application, said Captain Stephen Thakeng.

The group, who handed themselves over to police on Monday, face charges of public violence, malicious damage to property, arson, and attempted murder.

This followed the appearance of 10 other people, Sam Ndlovu, 31, Koos Motsili, 29, Jona Mabunda, 28, Carlos Machava, 31, Sello Malefane, 42, Mokete Namola, 41, Moses Xaba, 30, David Schalkwyk, 24, Serame Khumalo, 24, and Motlalepule Chaana, 18.

They appeared in the same court on Monday on the same charges.

Another two accused, Godfrey Tsoai, 51, and Plaatjie Ndisisa, 30, appeared separately.

“Both cases have been postponed for the same date to allow both groups to appear together,” said Thakeng.

The 12 people, who were not EFF members, were arrested in Bothaville after four Nala municipality councillors’ houses were burnt down. Another two houses and the library were damaged, and two Kgotsong residents’ houses were burnt down.

EFF convenor in the province, Kgotso Morapela, said on Monday that there had been unrest in the area since September because of a lack of services. He said when the EFF wrote to the mayor, a junior official responded.

“The EFF took an issue with that because they were sent from pillar to post and have been undermined,” he said at the time.

The party’s representatives demanded to meet the mayor, but nothing happened. They then went to the township to tell residents they were not happy, he said.

“They started to sing and the situation went out of control,” Morapela said.

Thakeng urged residents, whose homes or properties had been damaged, to report this to the police.



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