ZAAIPLAAS – Seven suspects arrested following the torching of a police van and two schools administration blocks in Zaaiplaas, Hlogotlou outside Groblersdal have been denied bail for further police investigations.
The suspects appeared before the Groblersdal Magistrates Court on two counts of arson, malicious damage to property and assault on police on Monday 28 May 2018.
The suspects aged between 24 and 50, George Makua (24), Victor Masango (29), Aaron Mahlangu (36), Sam Makua (50), Joseph Chego (28), Sipho Chego (35) and January Mtshweni (45) had their cases postponed to 07 June 2018 for bail application and further police investigations.
According to police, the suspects’ arrest followed incidents of torching of a police van, administration blocks of Leriane Secondary School in Holneck village and Rehlahlilwe Primary School in Keerom, and injuring a police officer in Zaaiplaas area.
Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe, Limpopo Provincial Police Spokesperson, said the impulse erupted after a group of community members from Zaaiplaas started violence during a service delivery protest action which started last Tuesday when they barricaded the R579 road.
Ngoepe further said following the Provincial Commissioner, Lt General Nneke Ledwaba’s visit to the area as part of his intervention, a sting joint operation led by SAPS Groblersdal Cluster Commander, Brigadier Mafete Mogwaneng was conducted in the area on Saturday, which resulted in the arrest of two ringleaders of the protest, bringing the number of arrested suspects to seven since the violent protests hit the area.
The residents demanded the completion of the JJ road, housing and water. Attempts to get comment from Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality and Sekhukhune District Municipality were not successful at the time of going to press.