Roads closed, shops looted in Vuwani, Limpopo

FILE PICTURE: Tyres burn during a protest.  Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

FILE PICTURE: Tyres burn during a protest. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Roads in Vuwani, Limpopo remained closed on Tuesday and businesses were looted overnight as residents continued to protest against planned inclusion into a newly demarcated Malamulele Municipality.

Limpopo police spokesman Elijah Malatji said a total shutdown in the area saw schools and businesses closing down as the protests turned violent. ”Last night [Monday], several businesses were looted and some burnt down. These include two hardware stores were burnt down, two bar lounges were stormed in and alcohol looted and butchery,” Malatji said on Tuesday.

”One person, a 29-year-old male was arrested overnight after he was found carrying stolen alcohol.”

He added that there was no public transport in or out of the area, as roads were barricaded with tyres and rocks. On Monday, police fired rubber bullets to disperse crowds who demanded that President Jacob Zuma intervene and accede to their demand to be excluded from Malamulele municipality.

The Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) announced in July that Malamulele would get its own new municipality, to be known as Malamulele-Vuwani Municipality. The board decided to incorporate Vuwani into the new municipality.

This comes after years of protest by Malamulele residents who demanded their own municipality, and to be separated from the Thulamela Municipality, which they accused of ignoring their plight for services.

However, Vuwani residents resisted being part of Malamulele, citing possible delay in service delivery. The residents demanded that Vuwani remain under the Makhado Municipality.

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