Violent protests in Gauteng

Police have their hands full with two violent protests over service delivery and housing.

FILE: Police have their hands full with two violent protests. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Two violent protests have flared up in Gauteng this morning.

In Zithobeni just outside Bronkhorstspruit, residents have once again gone on the rampage by burning down a local clinic and a house.

The violence has now spread to the Rethabiseng area after Tuesday's chaos in Zithobeni, which saw at least 30 people being arrested after a library and a few houses burnt down.

Last week community members burnt down a satellite police station, municipal offices and several businesses.

Police gather to plan their strategy against violet protesters in Zithobeni outside Bronkhorstspruit on 31 January 2014. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

The police's Johannes Jafta says all the suspects are expected to appear in court today.

This morning police arrested at least two people for convening the gathering and inciting violence.

Jafta says they've sent in reinforcements from Enkangala to help control the situation.

"It's unclear at this stage. We don't want to speculate on what the community is complaining about."

At the same time Gauteng Police Commissioner Lesetja Mothiba has described continued violent protests in Bronkhorstspruit as 'pure criminality', which has to be condemned.

He says, "As the South African Police Service (SAPS) we respect the people's right to protest as protected by the Constitution. [But] we condemn the community's action we've seen over the last few days as pure criminality in the form of vandalism."

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

Meanwhile in Sebokeng, some roads have been blocked off by community members who have accused government of taking its time to respond to their demands.

Most of the roads running from Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark have been closed off with burning tyres.

One man says several people have been injured but they cannot get help because the roads are blocked with burning tyres and rocks.

"The police couldn't control some of the cars. I found people trying to negotiate with nurses for them to get into hospital. Police wanted to escort them but the road is permanently blocked and no one can get into Sebokeng."