Situation in Standerton still tense, volatile

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Standerton - The situation in Standerton's Sakhile Township remains tense and volatile after protests flared up again.

Police spokesperson, Captain Leonard Hlati, said the situation was still volatile as protests erupted once again on Thursday when disgruntled residents of Sakhile Township barricaded the busy R23 road highway between Johannesburg and Standerton.

Hlati told BuaNews that there was a heavy police presence at the township as tensions rose in the township.

"Now that they are continuing blocking the roads with garbage and burning tyres, we will maintain our heavy presence at the township to restore peace and order," he said.

According to Hlati, two shops belonging to foreign nationals were set alight last night by the angry protestors.

A special task team from the Department of Cooperative Governance is in the township to assess the situation and to address residents' concerns.

"As the law enforcement, we believe that these people are now in the game of getting attention because the provincial government is already working on their grievances, but they are still continuing to barricade roads," he said.

Residents are demanding that all councillors resign, following a report by the provincial government that uncovered corruption and maladministration.

On Monday, protestors petrol bombed a community centre housing a library and a community hall, along with a municipal administration block. At the weekend, they also burned a local councilor's house.