Violence flares up in Standerton

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Standerton - Violence has again flared up in the Sakhile informal settlement near Standerton, with residents looting and burning down the shop of a foreign national.

"They broke down doors, destroyed appliances and stole goods. Some started fighting for the looted stock," police spokesperson Captain Leonard Hlati told BuaNews on Thursday.

He said the situation was still tense but more police had been dispatched to the township to help restore order. Public order police personnel would not be removed from the township until the area was declared safe.

Police are taking a zero tolerance approach, added Captain Hlati.

Last week, police had their hands full when residents blockaded roads, looted shops and vandalised and burnt council property in protest over a lack of service delivery and alleged corruption by council officials.

The residents had demanded that all municipal councillors resign after the release of a report from an investigation implicating several officials and councillors in fraud, mal-administration and corruption practices.

Some residents told certain media that they would continue their violent demonstrations until President Jacob Zuma addressed their concerns.

The Lekwa Local Municipality said residents had not formally engaged the municipality on their demands.

Municipality spokesperson Sipho Mkhwanazi told BuaNews that since last week, protesters had not given the municipality official demands.

He said the task team from the Department of Cooperative Governance, established to assess the situation and to address residents' concerns, was expected to give a report back later on Thursday.