Ogies calls for police reinforcements

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

Mpumalanga safety, security and liaison MEC Sibongile Manana has called for the deployment of more police at Ogies following protests over service delivery.

Manana yesterday rushed to the scene after receiving calls that the houses of three councillors had been destroyed and that people were being prevented from going to work by the disgruntled residents.

Taxis and buses had also been prevented from entering the township.

Manana found a volatile situation and called on Assistant Commissioner Nico O'Kelly to deploy more police to stabilise the situation.

The unrest at Ogies began two weeks ago when the residents demanded water, which was later provided by the eMalahleni municipality.

Last week Sowetan reported that the protesters had set municipal offices alight, causing damage estimated at more than R100 000.

Now the residents have called on all councillors to be removed.

The national government last Thursday sent Home Affairs Deputy Minister Malusi Gigaba to calm down tension.

But Gigaba had to run for his life after he was threatened and his vehicle stoned by residents. Police escorted him to safety.

Manana called on the police to "do everything in your power" to calm the situation.