POTCHEFSTROOM: The North West Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane condemned acts of violence that erupted in Bloemhof at approximately 20:00 on Wednesday, 20 February 2019.
It is alleged that an unconfirmed number of Boitumelong Township residents went to the police station and demanded the release of five suspects who were arrested for assault. The protesters allegedly pelted the police station with stones, but were eventually dispersed. A police officer sustained facial injuries after being hit with a stone during the confrontation with protesters while damages were also caused to the police station.
It was later reported during the night that three houses belonging to Police Officers were torched and damaged. Of the three houses, one burnt to ashes. The furniture was extensively damaged at the second house while only a curtain was burnt at the third one. Earlier today, Thursday, 21 February 2019, protesters gathered again in Bloemhof apparently with the intention of attacking the police station. According to information available at this stage, the protesters dispersed back to Boitumelong Township after being addressed by the Cluster Commander of Pudimoe who will also be meeting with the community in the afternoon.
The Provincial Commissioner sternly warned members of the community to respect the rule of law and to refrain from destruction of private and state properties such as police stations, vehicles and houses as that can have detrimental effect to lives and service delivery to the community. She raised a concern about attacks on the police who are there to maintain law and order including protection of those who protest. The police will not tolerate any act of public violence and drastic action will be taken against anyone who commits crime, said the Provincial Commissioner.
Although the situation is currently under control in the area, the police will maintain their presence. Motorists and other users of the N12 road are requested to be vigilant while driving between Christiana and Bloemhof.
Source: South African Police Service