37 arrested following protest in the Lowveld

Multiple people were arrested for public violence during the fuel hike protest in the surrounding areas of Mbombela.

 Photo: Lowveld Security JOC

The Mpumalanga MEC for community safety, security and liaison, Vusi Shongwe, called on community members to refrain from closing down roads, which has led to a shutdown of the economic activities in some parts of the Lowveld.

Since Wednesday various routes leading to Mbombela were barricaded using trucks, minibus taxis and burnt tyres.

“This has left many people frustrated  because they are unable to go to work or access services rendered in the city,” a statement from the MEC read.

“We are not a lawless state. People must protest and raise their unhappiness within the ambit of the law. Our country is still reeling from the ravaging pandemic that left many people without jobs. Therefore any person whose actions sabotage the economy must be harshly dealt with,” said Shongwe.

“Communities should refrain from blockading the road, because that is not only dangerous for people requiring urgent medical attention, but it also sabotages our economy.”

According to the statement, police arrested 37 people for public violence and four mini-bus taxis were impounded on July 6.

“I am calling on the police to promptly bring to book any person who is directly engaged in road closures or mobilising the community to do so.

“We are a government that listens to its people, but we will not tolerate any criminality that comes in the form of protests that infringe on the rights of free movement of others, ” the MEC said.

Read original story on lowvelder.co.za