An IDP meeting at Colchester Community Hall was disrupted last night with burning of objects at the entrance gates and stone throwing. The meeting started at 18:00 and just before 19:00, a group of about 200 local communities barricaded the hall entrances at its gates with burning objects.
Seven (7) vehicles were damaged with stones and rocks thrown at them. One Metro vehicle, a Nissan NP200 bakkie also had a flammable object thrown inside the cab causing fire damages to the seat. Some of the windows of the hall were also shattered by stones.
With the SAPS reaction to the incident, the Public Order Police Unit (POPS) had to use reduced rubber rounds to disperse the stone throwing crowd after their vehicles were also pelted with stones. POPS members forced open the gates in order to free the delegates that were trapped inside the hall.
By 21:00 some of the crowd moved to the N2 in Colchester where they attempted to close the road with burning tyres and objects and throwing stones at passing vehicles. A further nine ( 9) vehicles including four(4) trucks were damaged by these stone throwers.
SAPS managed to clear the road and keep traffic flow open. One 40 year old male was arrested for taking a tyre to the N2 in the blocking process. Due to darkness and some of the street lights not working, more arrests were not possible as the stone throwers made use of the dense bushes next to the road.
The 40 year old suspect will face charges in relation to public violence and damaging of infrastructure and will appear before the Alexandria Magistrates Court on Monday.
Motherwell Cluster Commander, Major Dawie Rabie added that "SAPS made an appeal for the lights to be repaired and some of the dense bushes be trimmed down. As SAPS we will not tolerate the damages caused to vehicles, buildings and infrastructure and the endangering of lives. Those arrested yesterday will face the full might of the law."
Source: South African Police Service