Residents vent anger on mayor, police

The house belonging to the Nketoana mayor was burnt down by angry residence.
The house belonging to the Nketoana mayor was burnt down by angry residence.

Another mayor has lost her house as South Africans vent their anger at the slow pace of service delivery around the country.

This time around, enraged residents of the small farming town of Petrus Steyn in Free State set alight the house of Nketoana local municipality mayor Maditswako Mokoena on Monday night.

This after they accused the mayor of failing to provide water for a week for residents of Mandela Park.

Police spokesperson Thandi Mbambo confirmed that a case of arson and malicious damage to property was registered at Reitz police station.

"The police responded to sporadic incidents that erupted in Mamafubedu, Petrus Steyn, on Monday, July 29 2019 at about 4.30pm. Isolated crowds were throwing garbage in the streets and later during the day started burning tyres," she said. "At about 8pm, information was received that the house of the mayor of Nketoana, Mamiki [Maditswako] Mokoena was burning. The fire brigade from neighbouring towns were mobilised but unfortunately the house couldn't be saved.

"It also emerged that the house of another councillor was damaged as well as three police vehicles that were pelted with stones."

Three suspects have since been arrested.

Free State premier Sisi Ntombela's spokesperson Tiisetso Makhele said the premier visited the town soon after she was informed and met with the councillors to understand the cause of the community's anger.

"The Free State provincial government can confirm that the issues raised by the community, like water shortages, are being addressed.

"As a temporary solution water tankers are supplying water in areas where there are shortages," said Makhele.

He said the government respected the right to stage protests but said the residents should also abide by the laws [of the country].

"The acts of attacking others, vandalising public and private property as well as any form of violence and criminality are condemned," he said.

Mokoena's phone rang unanswered and she failed to respond to Sunday World questions sent to her.

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