South Afria’s Cabinet has called for calm following violent protests in Lichtenburg and Blydeville in Ditsobotla Local Municipality in the North West.
Schooling was disrupted, shops were looted and cars as well as several houses were burnt as residents protested over service delivery.
In neighbouring Coligny, violent protests were sparked by what residents say is the racially motivated death of a 12-year-old boy. Residents claim a farmer assaulted the boy after finding him in his maize field last Friday. Two men, aged 26 and 33, who were arrested in connection with the death of the boy, were set to appear in court on Friday.
“Cabinet appeals to the Coligny community in the North West to stop their violent protests and allow the South African Police Service to complete their investigation into the death of the child to ensure that justice is served.
“Citizens are urged to raise their concerns through existing structures and within the bounds of the law,” said Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo on Friday.
The Minister was speaking during a media briefing after Cabinet’s meeting on Wednesday.
North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo has appointed a team comprising five MECs and two mayors to investigate and address service delivery challenges in the area.
Further afield in Limpopo, there has been a recent upswing in violence in Vuwani following the decision by the Municipal Demarcation Board to incorporate it into a new municipality.
Minister Dlodlo said Cabinet strongly condemns the use of children as a negotiation tool in protests.
“The weeks of school shutdown dampens the future of these children, who are placed under additional stress. Violence, intimidation, vandalism or actions that lead to schools being destroyed or learners deprived from going to school has no place in our democracy. Cabinet emphasises that money and resources spent on replacing damaged schools was meant for other programmes.
“Cabinet acknowledged the work done by the Inter Ministerial Committee, led by the Minister of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs, Des Van Rooyen and the visit by Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, and endorses the view that criminal activities including damage and destruction of property will not be tolerated.”
President Jacob Zuma is scheduled to meet with VhaVenda King Toni Mphephu Ramabulana and traditional leaders from Vhembe district in a bid to bring about stability.
Durban pastor’s arrest
Minister Dlodlo also commended law enforcement agencies for arresting the Durban based pastor, who stands accused of human trafficking and sexual assault.
“Cabinet welcomes the swift actions taken by the Hawks’ Human Trafficking Unit and the South African Police Service’s Tactical Response Team, who arrested the Durban-based pastor on a charge of human trafficking in Port Elizabeth.
“It is the duty and responsibility of all South Africans to work with authorities to protect our women and children from predators and to ensure that we do our part in making our communities safer,” said Minister Dlodlo.