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By Riot Hlatshwayo | Mar 29, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THE situation was understandably calm at KwaZanele township in Breyton near Ermelo yesterday.

This after eight people were arrested on Saturday after public violence earlier in the day.

Those arrested were allegedly part of a group that broke nearly all the windows of the house belonging to Msukalikwa municipality mayor Bheki Vilakazi.

Members of the community claimed to be protesting against a lack of service delivery and demanded that Vilakazi step down.

They allegedly also broke the wooden door of the garage at the mayor's house and smashed the rear window of a Mercedes-Benz that was parked inside, as well as windows of another vehicle that belonged to the mayor's security guards.

Captain Leonard Hlathi said the clashes started when the police stopped a number of tavern owners from operating when they found them not adhering to the requirements of their licences on Friday night.

He said the patrons went on the rampage and started pelting police with bottles.

The following day (Saturday), the protesters regrouped and started chanting slogans.

"They said the time for the mayor had expired and also the fact that the mayor had not responded to their memorandum following a peaceful march on March 4," Hlathi said yesterday.

He said the police tried to calm the situation down but the protesters members of the community went to the local stadium, where they continued to chant slogans.

"They barricaded roads with a variety of objects in the process and burnt tyres," Hlathi said.

"That was when some of the protesters went to the mayor's place and broke nearly all the windows of his house."

He said two guards and the mayor's son were in the house at the time but were left unharmed.

Those arrested were charged with public violence and malicious damage to property.


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