Atleast eight guest houses were torched in Rustenburg when members of the community "raided"suspected drug dens and brothels. FILE PHOTO: ANA

Lead South Africa

Tight security at Rustenburg court ahead of appearance of 14 Nigerian nationals

RUSTENBURG, February 13 (ANA) – Security has been beefed up at the Rustenburg Magistrate’s Court ahead of the appearance of 14 Nigerian men accused of public violence on Tuesday.

A high number of police were deployed outside the court building and some were in the courtroom.

Protesters were expected to be kept about 100m from the court buildings.

The bail hearing was abruptly halted on Friday, when irate protesters threatened to torch the court buildings.

A crowd of about 5,000 people was protesting outside the court when they threatened to burn the court building, calling for the authorities to send the Nigerians back to their country accusing them of operating brothels and drug dens in Rustenburg.

On January 10, eight guest houses were torched when locals went on a rampage raiding building they suspect of operating as brothels and drug houses, claiming to clean Rustenburg off prostitution and drugs.

Eleven days later, Nigerian nationals allegedly went on a revenge attack. They allegedly damaged cars at Waterval. They are also accused of assaulting and robbing people in Rustenburg Noord.

The suspects were arrested for public violence on the same day when they went, to the Rustenburg police station where they blocked the entrance.

Some of the accused face charges of malicious damage to property, assault and robbery.

Business owners, residents and shoppers in Rustenburg were notified of possible disruptive actions ahead of the court appearance.

“Business owners are advised to monitor the situation for their own safety and the safety of their clients. The closure of shops and businesses are entirely at their own discretion,” read the notice.

Roads near the court have been closed.

Fourteen Nigerian men accused of public violence are due to appear in the Rustenburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday for a bail application.
 
Their bail hearing was abruptly halted on Friday when irate protesters threatened to torch the court buildings.
 
A crowd of about 5,000 people protested outside the court when they threatened to burn the court building, calling for the authorities to send the Nigerians back to their country, after accusing them of operating brothels and drug dens in Rustenburg.
 
On January 10, eight guest houses were torched when locals went on the rampage, destroying buildings they suspect of operating as brothels and drug houses, in the process claiming to clean Rustenburg of prostitution and drugs.
 
On January 21, Nigerian nationals allegedly went on a revenge attack, damaging cars at Waterval, and allegedly assaulting and robbing people in Rustenburg Noord.
 
They were arrested for public violence on the same day, after they went to the Rustenburg police station and blocked the entrance to the police station, complaining that they were attacked and the police were not helping them.
 
Some of the accused were facing separate charges of malicious damage to property, assault and robbery relating to incidents in Waterval and Rustenburg Noord.
 
– African News Agency (ANA)

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