Fifty-nine residents of Orange Farm in the Vaal, arrested after protests over service delivery, were yesterday released without being charged.
They were set free without setting foot in the Vereeniging magistrate's court, where they were to have faced charges of public violence.
Their arrests followed protests by residents of Driezik Extension 4, which saw main roads being blockaded with burning tyres, rocks and tree branches.
Residents yesterday disputed claims by the Gauteng housing department that a third force was behind the series of protests in the area over service delivery.
Community leader Bricks Mokolo told Sowetan that the department was trying to shift blame over the real reasons behind the protests and marches.
Aviva Manqa, the department's spokesman, said they suspected there were people who were using the residents.
Residents are demanding houses, water, sanitation and sport facilities.