Zamdela returns to normal

Zamdela has calmed down since violent protest action broke out in the township this week.

All that remains of a truck that was set alight by residents of the Zamdela Informal Settlement in Sasolburg on 21 January 2013. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

SASOLBURG - As the Free State's Zamdela township in Sasolburg tries to regain some normality after days of violent protests, the spotlight has been turned on the police's conduct.

Residents went involved in violent protests this week over the proposed merger of two municipalities.

Protesters burned buildings, cars and looted local businesses.

Four people died during the clashes.

Residents have accused officers of brutality and making wrongful arrests.

A man whose brother was allegedly shot by police officers said he has lost all faith in law enforcement.

"I don't understand why they're shooting people with bullets instead of rubber bullets."

Meanwhile, the families of those arrested for being in the possession of stolen goods said the people who looted shops are still walking around freely.

The small Free State town has since calmed down, but it has become difficult for people in the township to find basic necessities such as bread and other staples as all shops in the vicinity were destroyed.

Since Sunday, 256 people were arrested for public violence, from these, 10 were let off with a warning.

The rest remain in custody and are due to appear in court next week.

Police are maintaining a very high and intensified presence in the township to prevent any groups from gathering.