53 in court for eMalahleni violent housing protests

Two cars were set alight as the protest took a violent turn.

Fifty three protesters will appear before the eMalahleni Magistrates Court this week.

Cops said they remain in custody pending a bail application.

Hundreds of residents in the eMalahleni area took to the streets to protest for houses.

11 were nabbed by the public order unit last week Friday.

Over the weekend, mayor Lindiwe Ntshalintshali and human settlements MEC Speedy Mashilo had to escorted out of the Lynnville stadium when the public meeting at the stadium erupted into chaos.

The community members vowed the officials would not address them if the 11 arrested residents were not released.

The community of Kwa-Guqa is protesting over a lack of housing as well against the invasion of newly built RDP houses by residents of Klarinet. They say they have been overlooked in the allocation process while some residents having been on the waiting list since 1996.

Klarinet is an RDP settlement north west of eMalahleni.

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Police spokesman Brigadier Leornard Hlathi said investigators nabbed 42 more protesters as the violence spread, making them 53.

The community also protesting for better services and jobs.

“The arrests were made in connection with the looting of foreign-owned shops, malicious damage to and possession of suspected stolen property,” Hlathi said.

“The arrests of all the suspects stem from events which started last week Friday (18 Aug) wherein community members went on a rampage allegedly regarding concerns of service delivery and employment issues.

“They barricaded roads using truckloads of coal and debris, pelting passing vehicles with stones and further torching a truck and a sedan,” he said.

They will appear again in court this week Thursday (24 Aug).

(edited by MLM)

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