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Sasolburg protest claims one life

At least one person has died following another violent day of protests at the Zamdela township.

Protesters in Zamdela township in Sasolburg had a stand-off with the police on Tuesday 22 January 2013. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN

ZAMDELA - At least one person has died following another violent day of protests at the Zamdela township outside Sasolburg in the Free State.

Earlier on Tuesday, Cooperative Governance Minister Richard Baloyi announced that plans to merge the Free State municipalities of Sasolburg and Parys will be stopped for now.

On Sunday, hundreds of community members took to the street to protest against the proposed merger.

Baloyi said his department would now focus on changing the Demarcations Act.

He said the immediate task of Zamdela residents is to rebuild the township following days of violent protests.

The minister stressed that residents must cooperate with government so that the situation can return to normal.

Earlier in the day, several protesters and at least one journalist were injured, while cars were torched and shops looted.

Demonstrators also launched an attack on a local police station, resulting in the killing of a protester.

Meanwhile, the ANC has appealed for calm and said violence is not the answer to the community's problems.