youtHs nabbed over stoning of houses

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

Eight white youths were arrested yesterday for allegedly stoning the windowpanes of houses belonging to black people in a Limpopo suburb at the weekend.

Limpopo police spokesperson Mohale Ramatseba said the boys had allegedly run amok on Blesbok Street in Groblersdal.

Residents of the area say the incident was reminiscent of the old, racist South Africa.

The youths, aged between 15 and 21 years, were arrested after they allegedly went on a window-smashing spree of houses belonging only to black people.

Ramatseba said five houses were reportedly damaged.

Ramatseba said the motive for the youths' actions was not yet known and police were investigating.

But residents of the suburb told Sowetan that they believed the incident was racially motivated.

John Mohale, who lives in the area, said there were many incidents of racial prejudice that took place in the formerly whites only suburb.

Mohale said some black children had been assaulted by white youths and when their parents reported the cases to the police, nothing happened.

He said: "Blacks are not safe in their own homes in this suburb because of these racists."

Police have arrested eight of the youths.

Two were later released because they were not connected to the crime.

The remaining six appeared briefly in the Groblersdal magistrate's court yesterday. They faced charges of malicious damage to property.

They were each released on bail of R500 and their case was postponed to June 1.

In an unrelated incident, also in Limpopo, police in Apel are investigating the abandonment of a week-old girl in a bush on Saturday.

Ramatseba said the child was found by a passerby who alerted the police.

Ramatseba said the child was found wrapped in a cloth in the bush, a few kilometres from the nearest village.

"The child was rushed to a local hospital where doctors said she was in a satisfactory condition.

"No arrests have as yet been made. Police investigations are continuing," he said.

Ramatseba appealed to anyone with information that could help the police to trace the mother or effect an arrest to contact Constable Madimetsa Chosi on 078-719-3032.