Limpopo govt makes 'powerful breakthrough' in Vuwani

The provincial government says it hopes talks with traditional leaders will see an end to a week of violence.

One of the schools targeted in ongoing protests in the Vuwani area. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - 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, with more than 20 schools being either torched or vandalised by protesters.

Residents in and around Vuwani are refusing to have their area fall under the Malamulele municipality.

Limpopo government spokesperson Phuti 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.


Former president Thabo Mbeki has added his voice to the condemnation of the burning of schools in Vuwani, saying the law needs to be enforced.

Mbeki was asked whether the supreme law of the land protects children from their rights being infringed on through the arson attacks on education facilities, during a panel discussion in Pretoria today.

He said the attacks formed a part of a larger complex societal problem.

"It's illegal to go and burn libraries, trains and all of this infrastructure. The law needs to be enforced."


The Vhavenda king has called on protesting residents of Vuwani to end the violence and vandalism of schools in the area, but added he fully supported 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 to discuss the protests and continued arson attacks on schools.

WATCH: Vhavenda king backs his people.

Limpopo police say 23 people have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the recent spate of arson attacks in the town of Vuwani.

The police's Malesela Ledwaba said, "Eight more suspects have been arrested, meaning that the total number is now 23 suspects arrested in connection with the protests at Vuwani."