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Malamulele unrest: Kruger National Park closes gates

The Kruger National Park has closed its Punda Maria gate due to the unrest in Malamulele.

FILE: The Kruger National Park has closed its Punda Maria gate due to the unrest in Malamulele. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Kruger National Park has closed its Punda Maria gate due to the unrest in Malamulele.

The road leading to the gate was blockaded by the community during the course of the week in protests which often turned violent.

The community has been on lock down for three weeks now since demonstrations erupted.

Many shops and businesses have been forced to close their doors.

Malamulele residents are demanding their own municipality which the municipal demarcation board rejected on Friday saying the area does not meet the necessary requirements.

Sanparks Isaac Phaahla has asked visitors to use other nearby gates to access the park.

"We decided to close the gate for the safety of our employees and guests."

Meanwhile, community leaders met for hours yesterday where they vowed to resume protests tomorrow.

The police's Ronel Otto says they will continue to monitor the area.

"At this stage the situation is under control but there is still a police presence."