Tebogo Msimanga |
Eleven suspects arrested for arson, malicious damage to property and public violence appeared briefly in Phalaborwa Magistrate’s court on Monday, 01 March 2021.
The suspects were arrested on 26 February 2021 at the Phalaborwa Mining Company (PMC) following violent protests that erupted in the area, in which community members went on the rampage and torched the offices of the mine and a motor vehicle.
Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said afterwards, the suspects continued to vandalize the main gate and took some valuable items such as computers.
“The police were called and were reinforced by members of Public Order Policing. The members managed to contain the situation and in the process of dispersing the crowd, the eleven suspects were then arrested at the scene.” Said Mojapelo.
He added that it is alleged that the local community members were complaining about existing employment and business opportunities that are being given to the outsiders instead of the Ba-Phalaborwa residents.
Limpopo Police Commissioner Nneke Ledwaba condemned these violent protests and has urged police members to be relentless in pursuit of all people who continue to take the law into their own hands.
The suspects aged between 25 and 40 were denied bail and their cases were postponed to next week Tuesday, 09 March 2021 for bail application and further police investigations.
Mojapelo further said more arrests are possible as police investigations are continuing.