More than 70 arrested for public violence and looting in Mangaung
More than 70 people have been arrested for public violence and looting during protests in Mangaung in the Free State.
The protests over poor service delivery flared up at the start of the week, causing major disruption in the city for businesses, schools and healthcare services.
“The police deployed in Mangaung to manage disruptive actions made additional arrests in the past 24 hours. This is after the looting of shops belonging to foreign nationals, some of which were seriously damaged,” said police spokesperson Brig Motantsi Makhele.
He said more arrests were imminent as shop owners continued to report more cases.
“There were other protests which were reported in areas like Soutpan, Dewetsdorp and Zastron,” said Makhele.
“In [the] Zastron protests, about 20 people were arrested for public violence and looting.”
The areas were quieter on Wednesday morning, Makhele said, adding that police were monitoring the situation.
Meanwhile, a 57-year-old security guard arrested after the death of 15-year-old Liam Siegel, a grade 7 pupil at Heide Primary school, was expected to appear in the Bloemfontein magistrate’s court on Wednesday.
Makhele said the guard allegedly fired a shot in a bid to scare off protesters at a warehouse.
“There will be a group of protesters who were arrested on Sunday and Monday, respectively, also appearing in court today.
“Once more we are appealing to those criminal elements who are continuing to loot the shops and barricade the roads to stop this, as we now consider their conduct as pure criminality.”
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