Protest turns into acts of arson

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

The arson attacks took place after a protest march to force Thaba Chweu mayor Clara Ndlovu and top officials to step down.

It was the fifth protest march in the area over the past two months.

Residents want an explanation for the "disappearance" of R3,2million from the municipality account.

Captain Leonard Hlathi of the organised crime unit told Sowetan: "It was impossible to get access to the township because community members threw stones at all vehicles entering the township."

A 17-year-old girl was arrested for public violence.

Looting of government property also took place.

"We cannot fold our arms while government properties are destroyed," Hlathi said.

"We are saying the community should follow the correct procedure to voice their concerns and stop destroying property that will be needed in the future."

Residents demand that the r mayor step down immediately.

"This woman is arrogant and her family insults people," said Given Selowe, a community member.