#VuwaniProtests: Vhavenda king calls for an end to violence, vandalism

So far, more than 20 schools have been completely destroyed, after being set alight during protests.

FILE: The Vhudzani secondary school is one the schools which have been touched by the Vuwani community. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

VUWANI - 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 of Basic Education 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.

So far, more than 20 schools have been completely destroyed, after being set alight during protests.

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 you burn schools it means 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: Where to now after violent protests in Vuwani?

Meanwhile, Vatsonga royal leaders in Vuwani say they fear that a violent protest in the area may escalate into a full-scale tribal war.

Chairperson of Vatsonga-Machangani royal leaders Hosi Nwamitwa says some Tsonga communities have now started to defend their schools from being destroyed.

"We are firmly opposed to the abuse of democracy to advance ethnic and tribal majoritarian among Africans. We feel that we are one people, be it Venda, Zulu, or whatever it is; to us we are one institution."