21 to appear in court for Vuwani protests

The unrest was sparked by some residents who don’t want to be part of the new Malamulele municipality.

FILE: One of the more than 20 schools affected by demarcation protests in Vuwani, Limpopo. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Twenty one people will be appearing in court today for public violence. They were arrested during violent protests in the Vuwani area in which more than 20 schools were torched or vandalised.

The unrest was sparked by some residents who don't want to be part of the new Malamulele municipality.

Limpopo government spokesperson Phuti Seloba said, "Our police are doing their part despite the vastness of the area, they've done their part and they made sure that they're tying the loose ends.

"It was not an excitement around having the mass arrests of people, we had to make sure that they tie the loose ends when we take somebody to court, that we really are able to link that person to a criminal activity."

The Limpopo government says it has made what it calls a "powerful breakthrough" in negotiations with the majority of traditional leaders in the areas surrounding Vuwani.

The provincial government says it hopes these successful talks will see an end to a week of violence.

Seloba said traditional leaders have given a strong message that they too will be helping authorities to bring stability to Vuwani and other villages this week.

"They're very committed, they also shared the same sentiment with us as government about the delay and the violation of the rights of other people in the area and they've committed themselves to support and work together with the police and government."

Seloba said he believes the violence will now come to an end and children will be able to go back to school.

Co-operative governance minister Des van Rooyen and his state security counterpart David Mahlobo visited the troubled area over the weekend.