By Thys Khiba
Mangaung – The members of the South African Police Services (SAPS) in Free State have arrested 7 suspects who are linked to the Mangaung protest action and shutdown.
“The police spent most of the night patrolling points that participants in the protest action and planned shutdown targeted to block in order to disturb the normal movement of people between the places of residence and work place,” said SAPS spokesperson, Brigadier Motantsi Makhele.
The arrested suspects are expected to appear in Bloemfontein magistrate court of law for public violence.
This is after the organisers of the shutdown were calling for the disbanding of the Mangaung Metro council and the removal of the City manager, Tankiso Mea.
Some of the community members who were participating in the protest action are accusing the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality of nepotism and irregular appointments for new employees.
“We pled with the learners and workers not to go to work and only essential workers would be allowed to go through. Only buses and taxis taking these essential workers would be permitted to go through to work,” Shutdown Participant, Themba Zweni. Motorists and commuters were urged to be careful and vigilant about the situation as they will be driving to work. According to Brigadier Makhele, police officers are on the ground to monitor the situation at Mangaung, and this is to ensure safety of people.
Meanwhile, the municipality has advised its workers to exercise caution as they were expected to come to work.
“Employees are further advised to exercise discretion not to continue travel to work or discontinue with work activities should they encounter safety threatening situations on the 17 May 2021. Safety threatening situations should be reported immediately to your relevant HOD and General Manager: Communications,” said Mangaung Metro Municipality Corporate Services, HOD David Nkaiseng.
Areas that are affected by the shutdown:
George Lubbe Road, near Power Station (Mangaung Area), Moshoeshoe Road, from Action Garage till Kenworth Spar (Mangaung Area), Taelo Moloisiwa Road at the cross of Mafora and Dinaweng (Kagisanong Area), Tau Street, Phase Two, near K.K Tavern (Kagisanong Area), Dr Belchor Road, near Engen Garage (Heidedal Area), Old Thaba Nchu Road, first entrance of Grassland (Bloemfontein Area), Maphisa Road (Mangaung Area) and Cross near Atang School (Kopanong Area), just to name few.”
Protestors were warned near Fauna, enroute to Louierpark and they were using a white bakkie,” said Brigadier Makhele.
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