Mpumalanga Provincial Commissioner concerned about violent protests

Nelspruit � Last month the Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma condemned violent behaviour during service-delivery and other illegal protest action in the province.

It would seem however, that the Provincial Commissioner's condemnation went unheeded by some communities in the province. This is evidenced by the perpetual nature of protest action still taking place at various places.

In this week alone there are about four areas: Leslie, Barberton, Bushbuckridge and Balfour, where this phenomenon took place and more than 28 people having been arrested.

General Zuma once again acknowledges the rights of all people to raise whatever concerns they may have, but that needs to be done within the ambit of the law. Just as everyone has the freedom to associate, it must be borne in mind that others also have the freedom not to associate, hence protesting or striking people should cease to coerce people to join them or prevent them from going wherever they are going.

What is of great concern is that protesters will go as far as barricading roads, removing or preventing learners from going to school, workers from going work looting of foreign-owned shops, torching and destroying property as well as rampant criminality that frequently accompanies these protests. The General is also warning the community that participating in illegal protest action may lead to a person being convicted of an offence as it happened to two protesters who were sentenced to three years imprisonment each by the Barberton Regional Court for public violence, hence accruing a criminal record that would make life difficult in the future.

The Provincial Commissioner urges people to follow the correct procedures before and during any protest action.

Source: South African Police Service