Se­cu­rity stepped up af­ter hall torched

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

FREE State po­lice have vowed to in­ten­sify de­ploy­ment af­ter the Man­gaung City Hall was set alight, al­legedly by mu­nic­i­pal work­ers, on Wed­nes­day.

Yes­ter­day, SAPS spokesper­son Motantsi Makhele said the vi­o­lence broke out af­ter of­fi­cers had a con­fronta­tion with around 200 mu­nic­i­pal work­ers who re­fused to dis­perse af­ter a meet­ing at the hall.

“The work­ers started throw­ing stones at the po­lice and pass­ing mo­tor ve­hi­cles, which led to po­lice us­ing stun grenades to dis­perse them.”

Makhele said that mo­ments af­ter the crowd dis­persed, the of­fi­cers no­ticed smoke com­ing from the hall.

“Fire­fight­ers were sum­moned to the scene but bat­tled to ex­tin­guish the fire till around 10pm. The po­lice man­aged to ar­rest three peo­ple for pub­lic vi­o­lence, and a case of ar­son was reg­is­tered for the torch­ing of the hall.

“There are also four cases of ma­li­cious dam­age to prop­erty which were reg­is­tered in re­gard to ve­hi­cles that were dam­aged,” Makhele said.

He said foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tors would be on the scene to con­duct fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

“We would like to ap­peal to our com­mu­ni­ties to re­frain from de­stroy­ing gov­ern­ment prop­er­ties no mat­ter what dif­fer­ences they have with their em­ployer,” Act­ing Pro­vin­cial Com­mis­sioner, Ma­jor Gen­eral Moeketsi Sempe said.

“Our in­ves­ti­gat­ing team will work around the clock to de­tect the per­pe­tra­tors who caused the fire.” – ANA

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