Police fire on protesters

POLICE had to fire rubber bullets yesterday to disperse an unruly mob that had set the library at Siyathemba township, near Balfour in Mpumalanga, on fire.

POLICE had to fire rubber bullets yesterday to disperse an unruly mob that had set the library at Siyathemba township, near Balfour in Mpumalanga, on fire.

They also stopped another group that was on its way to burn a multi-purpose centre.

The events followed a violent protest that started on Monday when the residents vented their anger against Burnstone South Africa, a local wing of the Canadian mining giant, Great Basin Gold. They set a municipal office and business premises owned by foreigners on fire.

Residents started barricading the streets with burning tyres, rocks and steel gates early in the morning.

They shifted their attention yesterday to demanding the immediate resignation of mayor Lefty Tsotetsi and his council.

On Monday residents vented their dissatisfaction over Burnstone's employment practice, charging that the company sidelined local residents when hiring staff.

Youth leader Sifiso Makhubo said the protesters would not backdown on their demands. - Vusi Ndlovu

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