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11 April 2018
MEC Motlhabane condemns barricading of roads and disruptions of service delivery during protests

The North West Community Safety and Transport Management MEC, Dr Mpho Motlhabane condemns with strongest terms the barricading of roads and stoning of vehicles during protests.

The Department has noticed a number of incidents across the Province where roads are being barricaded with burning tyres, stones and other objects, thus, obstructing the traffic flow especially on national roads.

In recent weeks, the community of Gopane barricaded the N4 following the protests march on their dissatisfaction police response to a reported case of crime.

The trend continued in other areas such as Ganyesa, where the community was also angry, following number of cases of murder and rape which were reported to the station. The residents also complained about the way the police have handled the case.

Another protests left motorists stranded with less options of alternative routes when the residents of Coligny closed the road in their protest for service delivery.

On the entrance of Mahikeng on the R503 route, right in Danville, traffic jammed in the early hours of this morning as a result of service delivery protests, the same reason that the villagers of Mmatshepe have also joined the queue.

In the Molelema village, patients and workers were disrupted as protesters allegedly closed the clinic. A similar incident also occurred in the Madibogo village in a protest at which residents are demanding answers for the construction of the road and bridge.

After learning about these protests, the Departmental MEC Motlhabane sends a strong warning to the protesters who normally add an element of criminality on their actions.

“The is nothing wrong when people engage on a peaceful protest, but immediately when that disrupts service delivery and flow of traffic, that puts participants on the wrong side of the law.

“South Africa is a democratic country where people have rights, and these rights are enshrined in the Constitution. People have the right to gather and march,but their rights are not above any other rights. There is no right in the constitution that grants anyone a permission to burn tyres on the road, close the clinic and disrupt learning at schools.

People cannot pick and choose which rights suite them. If you transgress the Constitution you must face the full might of the law.
Public safety is our responsibility as the department and we are not going to allow violent actions and damage to public property as well as disruption of service delivery in public institutions,” warned Motlhabane.

He requested to the general public not to engage in unlawful act but rather assist police to deal with this increasing lawlessness and criminal activities.

The Departmental MEC further appealed to the motorists to cooperate with traffic authorities when directed to take alternative roads when required due to road closure as a result of these spate of protests that are emerging from time to time across the Province.

“At some point our law enforcement officers will have to redirect motorists due to conditions these protests and we request all road users to cooperate with them. “Our responsibility is to make sure that you reach your destinations safely,” concluded Motlhabane who urged members of the community to refrain from taking law into their own hands and allow police to conduct investigations in all reported cases.

In order to deal with lawlessness in the Province, the police have arrested a number of suspects who allegedly acted unlawful during these protests including in Ganyesa where a car was burned and goods looted from foreign national owned shops.


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HOD Ms Botlhale Mofokeng

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