The protests on the R36 at The Oaks, between Hoedspruit and Tzaneen, have intensified.
Police have barricaded the road and no vehicles are allowed in. Farm watch members and various units of the Limpopo provincial police intensified their presence today, as they started a clean-up operation by taking graders into the no-go zone. Police at the scene said protesters were mainly active in the late afternoon and at night, Letaba Herald reported.
The Oaks Village residents are demanding the boundaries which separate their village from The Willows be changed, as they want the section allocated for a new mall to be constructed in their area.
A heavy police presence and armoured vehicles took graders in the morning via a convoy to start filling up two trenches the rioters had dug. This was to protect them from rocks being thrown at them by protesters.
Riots had intensified last Sunday night when protestors dug a trench through the road. This, as another protest flared up near Strydom Tunnel involving the Leboeng community, who disputed against service delivery.
On Monday, Limpopo police spokesperson Colonel Ronel Otto said the protesters at Leboeng had dispersed, but the situation at The Oaks had continued, as once again they had dug another trench and the rioters had punctured the tyres of a large fuel truck to block the bridge.
Reports have come in that some workers had lost their jobs due to not being able to arrive at their work on time due to the ongoing protest.
The Oaks residents were apparently angry with the Maruleng municipality and accused them of not consulting them when they made decisions that affected their area.
On October 30, a 28-year-old man suspected of being part of the group which has been rioting violently in The Oaks appeared in Naphuno Magistrate’s Court for public violence. According to Hoedspruit police spokesperson Constable Livhuwani Mulaudzi, the suspect was arrested during the protest which began on October 27. The suspect, Kholofelo Mawune, 28, was released on R400 bail and the case was postponed until November 23.
During the riots when the suspect was arrested, the protest had also turned violent, a truck was torched and vehicles damaged.
– Caxton News Service