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‘Lack of evidence makes it difficult to make further arrests in Vuwani'

Five people are currently in police custody in connection with the violence in Limpopo.

The number of schools targeted in ongoing protests in the Vuwani area now stands at 22. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

DAZANANI - State Security Minister David Mahlobo says his department is aware of those behind the torching of schools, however he says it's difficult to make further arrests due to a lack of evidence.

The minister says five people are currently in police custody in connection with the violence.

"In as much as citizens have the right to voice their grievances, the manner in which they do it should not undermine the rights of others. Very soon, working with our prosecuting body we will bring those [people] to our courts."

Meanwhile, the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) says it's sad and disappointed by the destruction of the futures of children in Vuwani.

The youth league says no amount of grievances can justify the destruction of property.

It says it's also disappointed by the failure of security forces to protect the future of black children.

The ANCY's Mlondi Mkhize says while the community has a right to protest, that should not interfere with the children's right to education.

"What they are doing is not justifiable. You can't complain about demarcation, but you then burn schools. You have a right to protest but you don't have a right to infringe on someone else's rights. When you burn a school there is a child that will be affected."

LISTEN: The latest on protests in Vuwani

At the same time, The Vhavenda king has called on protesting residents of Vuwani to end the violence and vandalism of schools in the area - but says he fully supports their opposition to joining a new municipality based in Malamulele.

Minister Angie Motshekga met with the king at the Vhavenda Royal House in Dzanani earlier today, to discuss the protests and continued arson attacks on schools.

King Toni Mphephu Ramabulana says the violence that has occurred during the Vuwani protests must come to an end.

"They must do away with violence. People are burning the future. When they burn schools, it means that there will be no future for all our children."

But he says the demands being made by the residents are legitimate.

"I support my people in their opposition to the new municipality. I am going to engage the president of the country to look at a possible solution."

The king says he will now seek a meeting with President Jacob Zuma to discuss the demonstrations - and how to proceed.

LISTEN: President Jacob Zuma condemns burning of schools

Furthermore, Venda chief has refuted claims that there are tribalist tensions in the area, which are fuelling the protests.

Chief Masia says there are external forces trying to discredit their concerns of being removed from the Makhado municipality.

"People have been living together as Vhavenda and Vatsonga; in fact in this municipality we have been led by a Xitsonga speaking mayor three times and we never had a problem."

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