RUSTENBURG, October 23 – Police used rubber bullets to disperse a group of protesters at Ikemeleng in Kroondal near Rustenburg on Tuesday.
The police were removing rocks used to barricade the roads when protesters pelted them with stones, prompting them to fire rubber bullets into the crowd.
Residents barricaded the road with burning tyres, logs and branches as well as rocks and steels barriers.
The road between Rustenburg and Kroondal was blocked at the Hex River bridge with rocks and burning tyres. The road leading to Sibanye Kroondal mining operations was also blocked at Ikemeleng.
Morning traffic flow towards the N4 highway between Rustenburg and Pretoria was disrupted as a result of the protests and some learners did not go to school, instead opting to join the protest.
Protesters waved placards calling for their ward councillor to step down as they toyi-toyied around a huge burning tyre.
A community leader who did not want to be identified as he fears for his life said the protest was related to service delivery. Residents also want the ward councillor removed.
“We do not have water for five weeks now, the councillor is not helping us. She refused to attend a community meeting stating that she is not our councillor,” he said.
He added that the community suspected there was a hit squad killing vocal people in the community. “Last week Thembile Jali was shot dead after he received a cell-phone call to meet someone, he was shot right here on this road,” he said pointing at the spot where Jali was killed.
Jali was buried at the weekend in the Eastern Cape.
The community has also called for the recruitment process at nearby mines to be transparent so that they all have an opportunity to apply for jobs. They are also demanding a high school be built in the area.
-African News Agency (ANA)