25 March 2019


33 public violence accused released on warning

by: Nthusang Lefafa   date: 26 April 2018

All 33 suspects that were arrested for public violence in Mahikeng have been released on warning by the Molopo Magistrates Court.
The suspects were arrested by police during protests that saw several businesses, government and private properties being vandalised. Regional spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Frank Lesenyego, told Semphete that the NPA is awaiting a response from the Director of Public Prosections to make a decision on the matter.
“All 33 suspects that were arrested since last week Thursday have been released on warning by the Molopo Magistrates Court. We are still awaiting a decision from the Director of Public Prosecutions on how the matter will be handled. Due the large number of suspects involved, the suspects are due to appear in court on 30 May and on 4 and 6 June 2017,” said Lesenyego.
Meanwhile, two people are reported to have died due to the violence that has rocked the province. A soldier was shot dead in Mahikeng and a 16-year-old boy in Taung. The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) is looking into the two cases.
Last week President Cyril Ramaphosa and other African National Congress (ANC) national leaders visited Mahikeng to understand issues behind the protests. Ramaphosa promised that a solution to the problems would be found as soon as possible. 
The ANC in Bokone Bophirima expressed gratitude to the people of Mahikeng and the entire province for heeding the call to restore calm.
“We send our appreciation to the President of our movement, Cde Cyril Ramaphosa, and all other national leaders for their speedy intervention. This indeed shows that together, we can do more. As a caring organisation we would like to also thank the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) whose members arrived in the province to assist with the essential health care our people need,” said the ANC in a statement.
The ANC called on Premier Supra Mahumapelo to take more action to intervene in the ongoing health workers’ strike led by the National, Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) and the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa).
“As the ANC we would like to plead with Nehawu and Denosa to bare in mind that healthcare is important and should not be compromised over issues that can be negotiated and settled on the table. We urge health workers to return to work and let their leaders continue negotiations with the task team that the Premier has established. We again call on our people to remain calm, let the children go to school and let Mahikeng return to its peaceful self,” said the ANC. 
Bokone Bophirima’s Provincial Police Spokesperson, Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone, encouraged communities in the province to refrain from participating in criminal activities during service delivery protests.
“We would like to urge our communities not to allow criminals to hijack service delivery protests. We are continuing to deploy public order police to various areas in the province. It is important to respect the rule of law at all times and not violate the rights of other citizens because we will arrest all criminals as it is our responsibility to do so”.