'School disturbances will not be tolerated' - Chief
BAKGATLA-BA-KGAFELA chief Nyalala Pilane has condemned the violent service delivery-related protests that have engulfed Saulspoort village, near Rustenburg, in North West in recent weeks.
Residents have gone on the rampage, blockading roads with rocks, burning tyres, as well as tree branches. Their complaints, among others, include what they perceive as failure by Pilane's administration to give locals first preference when mining companies operating on their land recruit employees.
Protesters have left a trail of destruction in their wake as a way of voicing their frustrations.
A school for the mentally ill, a house and vehicles belonging to a councillor were some of the properties destroyed by rioters last week.
A total of 17 people have since been arrested and charged with public violence.
"Regardless of how some people in the community may feel, violence and disturbance of schooling for our children will not be tolerated.
"I have always listened to what the people want, that is why such acts of hooliganism are mind boggling. I would like to send a strong message to those responsible that this will not be tolerated and strong action will be taken against them," Pilane warned.
He also appealed to the youth in the area to be disciplined.
"I know for a fact that most of the people behind the protests were once employed at the mines, but because of ill-discipline, they lost their jobs. However, I also understand the frustrations of those that are unemployed, and would like to ask for their patience.
"Violence is simply not the answer," he said.