Mine row: Chief held
Chief Isaac Kgwete of Maandagshoek in Sekhukhune was arrested yesterday together with community leader Emmanuel Makgokga and 24 others for public violence and malicious damage to property.
The chief and Makgokga are accused of burning down the house of another chief, Ralf Kgwete, and looting and destroying the window panes of a shop with stones on Wednesday evening.
The incident took place at the village where four people, including a 22-year-old man who was hit in the groin, were shot during a clash between the community and security guards on Monday.
Limpopo police spokesman Ronel Otto said the rift emerged when employees of Platinum Australia mine excavated grounds in the village for possible expansion.
Otto said the villagers, who live a few kilometres from the mine, allegedly gathered and burnt down the house of a chief who was suspected to be cooperatingwith the mine.
Police arrested 24 people for damage to property and public violence. They were all remanded when they appeared in the Sekhukhune magistrate's court yesterday.
Lawyer Richard Spoor said residents complained about their houses developing cracks as a result of explosions at the mine.
Interim spokesman for the community, Aubrey Moela, said the villagers were also angered by plans to evict those living on the area earmarked for the excavation of a shaft.