RUSTENBURG, June 28 – A police station was vandalised, shops looted and three people were arrested during a protest over stock theft in Lethabong near Rustenburg on Wednesday, North West police said.
“Several window panes were damaged [at the police station]. Upon being dispersed by the police, members of the community looted from shops and that led to the arrest of three people; two males and a female. Some of the looted items were recovered from the suspects,” said Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone.
This was after the community allegedly set alight a vehicle and pelted the police station building with stones on Tuesday.
“It is alleged that members of the community towed a vehicle of which the owner was suspected of stock theft, to take it to the police station. They allegedly set it alight at upon arrival at the police station. They also demanded to be handed back the suspect that they handed over to the police earlier.”
He said the police were investigating cases of malicious damage to property and public violence.
“The incident is condemned in the strongest possible terms. The police will not allow lawlessness and that drastic steps will be taken against any person who takes the law into his or her own hands,” Mokgwabone said.
Community members barricaded the road with rocks and burning tyres in the early hours of the morning, preventing buses from gaining access to the township to transport people to their workplaces.
The protest was suspended following a meeting with the police. Another meeting was planned for Thursday.
The situation was calm on Wednesday afternoon and the police were maintaining a strong presence in the area.
– African News Agency (ANA)