MOTETEMA/TAFELKOP – Angry residents of Motetema outside Groblersdal went on rampage on Friday barricading roads with burning tyres, tree branches and trunks as well as stones in protest over shortage of water in the Township outside Groblersdal.
The fierce protest action by residents followed a Sekhukhune District Municipality (SDM) mayoral outreach in which the residents submitted a memorandum of service delivery challenges, water shortage in the main, about two weeks ago.
SDM Executive Mayor, Stanley Ramaila, received the memorandum and promised to provide residents a response within seven working days.
On Friday the residents blockaded the main road as they demanded SDM to attend to their challenges of shortage of water in the area at speed. The protest turned violent and Public Order Police were summoned to the burning area.
The South African Police Service (Saps) in Limpopo arrested seven suspects aged between 24 and 45 years-old for attempted murder, public violence, tempering with essential infrastructure and malicious damage to property following incidents of violence that accompanied the unrest.
Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe, Limpopo Provincial Police Spokesperson, said it was alleged that the suspects together with other community members went on rampage, barricaded the main road between Motetema and Groblersdal with burning tyres and stones.
Ngoepe said in the process of the protests, cars were also damaged with stones and petrol bomb. Police acted responsibly following the incident and managed to arrest the seven suspects.
The arrested suspects appeared before Motetema Magistrates Court on Monday. Meanwhile, some residents in Tafelkop also outside Groblersdal hijacked what was supposed to have been a service delivery protest over water in the main and looted several businesses in the area.
Seun Mogotji, Bolsheviks Party of South Africa (BPSA) leader, said the ongoing water crises and other related issues in Limpopo, Sekhukhune, and Moutse had now reached a point where communities decided to take to streets through protests and voice out their problems.
Mogotji said in Tafelkop the community protest lost focus to an extent that shops were looted and criminal activities took place.
“ And all this is done in the name f the ongoing protest which leaves a question that does the shops have water as the protests started as protests over the issue of no water supply in the region,” said Mogotji.
Mogotji concluded that BPSA called for calm and good conduct from the people of Tafelkop. He said the party would like to encourage the affected communities not to lose focus as the fight for services went on.
The Bolsheviks Party of South Africa calls on state security services to act swiftly towards all criminal activities while respecting the right of communities to protest and voice out their issues.