Grenade ex­plodes in teenager’s hand

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - SANDI KWON HOO CHIEF RE­PORTER

A TEENAGER was ad­mit­ted to Pro­fes­sor ZK Matthews Hos­pi­tal in Barkly West yes­ter­day af­ter a stun grenade ex­ploded in his hand in Hak ‘n Steek lo­ca­tion.

Res­i­dents said they heard a large ex­plo­sion shortly af­ter 7.15am yes­ter­day morn­ing when the stun grenade det­o­nated.

Com­mu­nity mem­bers had ap­par­ently picked up stun grenades off the streets yes­ter­day af­ter the po­lice fired rub­ber bul­lets at protest­ing res­i­dents who were pelt­ing ve­hi­cles with stones on Mon­day.

Dik­gat­long Mu­nic­i­pal­ity in­de­pen­dent coun­cil­lor Mently Bezuiden­hout be­lieved that the stun grenade which in­jured the teenager had been planted near his car in an or­ches­trated at­tempt to in­jure him.

“The stun grenade was left on the ground where my car was parked. I rushed to the hos­pi­tal to check on him (the teen). His hand and body were in­jured dur­ing the in­ci­dent.”

Bezuiden­hout added that the com­mu­nity mem­bers were an­gry as it seems that their long-stand­ing call for the re­moval of the Dik­gat­long mayor and chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer (CFO) has fallen on deaf ears.

“The com­mu­nity has been wait­ing pa­tiently since the first me­moran­dum was handed over in Fe­bru­ary. The re­sponse of Premier Sylvia Lu­cas when she ad­dressed res­i­dents on Mon­day this week was a slap in our faces. While the mu­nic­i­pal­ity is busy col­laps­ing, it is clear that the mayor and CFO are go­ing nowhere. We also don’t want the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to be man­aged on the side by the po­lit­i­cal benches.”

Lu­cas had told the com­mu­nity that she had re­quested the in­fra­struc­ture unit at the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion to as­sist with the leak­ing sewage at Barkly West Pri­mary.

Bezuiden­hout stated that Barkly West and Long­lands res­i­dents were con­tin­u­ing with protest ac­tion and that the po­lice had fired rub­ber bul­lets at them.

“The sit­u­a­tion will get much worse. Schools were dis­missed dur­ing the morn­ing due to the volatile cir­cum­stances. Par­ents have de­cided that there will be no school un­til the prob­lems are solved.”

There were also re­ports of road clo­sures at the Del­portshoop in­ter­sec­tion yes­ter­day.

Po­lice spokesper­son, Cap­tain Ole­bo­geng Tawana, said that the Barkly West po­lice were in­ves­ti­gat­ing a case re­lated to the caus­ing of an ex­plo­sion af­ter an 18-year-old man was be­lieved to have been in­jured by an un­known ex­plo­sion at about 7am yes­ter­day morn­ing.

“It is al­leged that the vic­tim was in pos­ses­sion of an un­known can­is­ter, which he picked up some­where on the streets of Barkly West. The can­is­ter ex­ploded while in the hands of the vic­tim.

Tawana in­di­cated that the po­lice had yet to ver­ify where the can­is­ter came from.

“At this stage the ori­gin of the can­is­ter, al­legedly picked up by the vic­tim and in­jur­ing him, is un­known.

“The vic­tim was trans­ported to the lo­cal hos­pi­tal to re­ceive med­i­cal treat­ment for the in­juries sus­tained dur­ing the ex­plo­sion. He sus­tained hand in­juries.”

Tawana was not aware of any at­tempts to at­tack the in­de­pen­dent coun­cil­lor.

“The SAPS dis­tances it­self from the coun­cil­lor’s al­le­ga­tion. No case has been laid against the coun­cil­lor or by the coun­cil­lor,” said Tawana.

He added that no ar­rests had been made re­lat­ing to the protest ac­tion in Barkly West.

“The po­lice are still con­tin­u­ing to mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion.”

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