Tempers rise in Bronkhorstspruit

Zithobeni residents are blocking police from the area, demanding a meeting with Tshwane’s mayor.

Police gather to plan their strategy against violet protesters in Zithobeni outside Bronkhorstspruit. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

BRONKHORSTSPRUIT - Tempers are rising in Zithobeni outside Bronkhorstspruit where residents have torched their local police station, pelted vehicles with stones and are now refusing to allow officers into the area.

Residents have been up in arms since Thursday, claiming they're being charged too much for water and electricity - services they say they've gone without for more than three weeks.

Gauteng government officials, including Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko, acting Gauteng Police Commissioner Joel Mothiba and police spokesperson Neville Malila, have gathered at the Bronkhorstspruit police station to discuss a plan of action.

The high-level delegation says another local police station that residents burnt down earlier in the day was built by government in line with the community's demands.

A municipal building and satellite police station torched by the angry protesters. Picture: Neville Malila/SAPS.

Officials say they will be releasing a statement after the meeting which will detail information about their plans to disperse the crowd.

They've confirmed no one has been arrested as police have still not been able to gain access to the township.

Earlier they had to flee the area and roads were blocked with stones and burning tyres.

This also brought traffic to a standstill on all main roads leading into the area.

Officers called for reinforcements as they were clearly outnumbered and battling to restore calm.

Residents say they want to deliver a memorandum of demands, but will only give it to Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa.