RUSTENBURG – At least 18 people were arrested in connection with the violence that erupted in Jouberton near Klerksdorp, North West police said on Tuesday.
Spokesperson Colonel Adele Myburgh said the group, aged between 17 and 37, were arrested on Monday, following community protests.
"During the protest, an unconfirmed number of members of the community comprising mainly of youth, barricaded roads and looted foreign national owned tuck-shops in Jouberton and Alabama," she said.
They were expected to appear in the Klerksdorp Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, on a charge of public violence.
The police were still maintaining their presence in the area where some of the roads were still barricaded.
Meanwhile, Forum 4 Service Delivery (F4SD) denied that it was stoking the protest.
Regional election convenor in Dr Kenneth Kaunda, Maruping Madibo said F4SD was a law-abiding organisation which constantly condemns looting, violence and the destroying of properties.
"F4SD believe in the power of ‘X’ not unruly behaviours and ignorance of the law," he said, distancing the organisation from a message circulating on social media calling on residents to join the protest, burn the new clinic and not to allow taxis to operate.
On Facebook, Thabang CT Matlokwe posted on Ditaba Tsa Joubertina (Jouberton News) that Forum For Service Delivery was very sorry for the looting of some shops, adding that looting was not part of their "mandate".
The message added that the N12 highway must be blocked, in a push for the municipal manager to resign.
Maruping said the message was circulated by the Forum For Service Delivery, and not Forum 4 Service Delivery (F4SD).
"We appeal to people to stop confusing the two because it is for the first time we also notice this Forum For Service Delivery through the circulating unofficial media statement," he said.
He called for a probe to be launched on the protest and perpetrators must be dealt with accordingly.
African News Agency (ANA)