MASHISHING residents near Lydenburg yesterday set the local offices of the South African Social Security Agency and part of the Mashishing police barracks on fire in continuing violent protests in Mpumalanga.

This after a protest march to force Thaba Chweu mayor Clara Ndlovu and other top officials to step down.

It was the fifth protest march in the area over the past two months after residents demanded an explanation for the disappearance of R3,2 million from the municipality's main account.

Captain Leonard Hlathi of the provincial organised crime unit said the community went on the rampage and burnt down the offices, attacked security guards and also burnt part of the Mashishing police barracks.

"They barricaded the roads with stones and broken bottles," Hlathi said.

"Chairs found at the community hall were taken out and burnt.

"It was impossible to get access to the township since residents threw stones at all vehicles entering the township."

A 17-year-old girl was arrested for public violence after she failed to outrun the police and will appear in the Lydenburg magistrate's court today.

Hlathi said: "The community should follow the correct procedures to voice their concerns and desist from destroying property."

Residents said if Ndlovu knew what was best for her she would step down immediately and leave town as soon as possible.

Premier David Mabuza was expected to arrive in the town to try and address members of the Mashishing Activist Forum later yesterday afternoon.

The violence has already resulted in the death of Jacob Malakane in one of the clashes with the police.