The KwaZulu-Natal provincial commissioner, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula, condemned the acts of violence witnessed at Paulpietersburg, including the attack on police officers, which took place on Monday, 3 February.
107 suspects aged between 17 and 46 were arrested for public violence, malicious damage to property, arson and assault. They are expected to appear at the Paulpietersburg Magistrates Court, this week.
“We will always act decisively in containing violent protests in the province. I wish to commend our police officers for ensuring that those who were responsible for the violence and destruction were arrested. We appeal to those that wish to protest, to do so peacefully,” said Jula.
It is reported that community members gathered at the Edumbe Stadium and embarked on protest action regarding service delivery. The protests quickly turned violent as residents began burning tyres and hurling stones at passing vehicles. Police officers from the local police station and Public Order Police were summoned to deal with the acts of criminality.
For the past two days protesters continued to block routes into Paulpietersburg with burning tyres and disrupted activities in the town. During the violent protests a municipal building was vandalised and shops were looted. Demonstrators stormed into a business premises and stole computers. Police vehicles were also damaged due to the violent demonstrations. A police officer was seriously wounded when he was struck by a rock that was hurled by protestors.
This is a developing story and updates will follow as events unfold.