Eleven arrested in Ventersdorp protest, township shops run out of stock

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VENTERSDORP, October 10 – At least 11  people have been arrested in connection with violent protests in Ventersdorp on Wednesday, North West police said.

Spokesperson Captain Sam Tselanyane said they would face charges of public violence when they appear in the Ventersdorp Magistrate’s Court.

Ventersdorp was completely shutdown on Wednesday, as residents continued with their renewed protest.

Community leader Sello Dassie said the protest would not stop until government delivered the N14 development project promised to them since 2006.

“We will never rest until the N14 project is delivered,” he said.

He said the N14 project supposed to consist of a shopping complex, townhouses, tourism attraction hub and agricultural hub amongst others.

Businesses in town were closed while those opened in Tshing did not have basic items such as bread and prepaid airtime. One shopkeeper told shoppers that he had run out of supply.

He told shoppers: “Ga e yo” loosely translates to I do not have before they could tell him what they wanted to buy.

Another resident who did not want to be identified said, they were unable to buy food since the shutdown started on Monday.

“We are running out of food, we cannot cook because we do not have food. The shops have run out of stock in three days,” he said.

At the only shop opened in town a 440ml of soft drink cost R18.

The police were monitoring the situation, described as being calm on Wednesday evening.

In the afternoon there was a running battle between the police and protesting residents in Tshing and nearby Toevlug.

Residents pelted the police with stones fired from catapults and the police fired rubber bullets and teargas to disperse the protesters.

Protesters accused the police of going after them even when they have moved away from the main roads into the township.

“They [police] fired at us while we were at the sports ground, they attacked us. They have declared war,” said one protesting adding that a policeman was left bleeding after he was hit with a stone.

– African News Agency (ANA)