Violence subsides as leaders are freed

THE release of Mashishing Activists Forum convener Mandla Mabelane and his alleged accomplice, Alfred Sibanyoni, who were arrested for "inciting violence", has apparently brought some measure of peace to the township.

THE release of Mashishing Activists Forum convener Mandla Mabelane and his alleged accomplice, Alfred Sibanyoni, who were arrested for "inciting violence", has apparently brought some measure of peace to the township.

The two men were arrested on Monday after angry residents set the house of a government official alight last weekend. The official was accused of being friends with local mayor Clara Ndlovu.

Warning

Mabelane and Sibanyoni appeared in the Lydenburg magistrate's court on Wednesday and were released on warning.

They were also ordered to urge the residents to stop the violence that has engulfed the township for almost three months.

Speaking to Sowetan yesterday Mabelane said he would not tell the residents to stop the violence because one could not change what the people believed in.

"The condition telling me to address people and to stop them from doing what they believe in is just irrelevant," Mabelane said.

"I'm not going to address anyone about anything

Violence

"First of all we don't even know why we were arrested because we did not incite any violence."

After the arrest of the duo angry protesters took to the streets and even threw missiles at the Mashishing police station, forcing the police to use rubber bullets to disperse them.

The protesters also blocked roads and stopped people from going to work in the nearby town of Lydenburg.

Mabelane and Sibanyoni are to appear in court again on August 25.

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