North West mayor released after being held hostage

Lichtenburg residents held the mayor against his will at a municipal building on Thursday, demanding answers to their service delivery grievances.

Picture: SAPS.

JOHANNESBURG - North West police have confirmed that Ditsobotla Municipal Mayor Daniel Buthelezi has been released after being held hostage for over eight hours by protesting community members.

Lichtenburg residents held the mayor against his will at a municipal building on Wednesday, demanding answers to their service delivery grievances.

He was released shortly after 1am.

A small section of the building was also set alight during the protest.

Thirty-two people have been arrested and face charges of kidnapping, arson and attempted murder.

The police's Sabata Mokgwabone says Buthelezi was released unharmed.

“The mayor was released after successful negotiations. This led to the arrest of 32 suspects, including nine females. We are expecting them to appear in court soon.”

The mayor will now receive extra security following the incident.

The mayor's spokesperson Pius Batsile says: “The mayor is safe and sound. After what happened last night we will have to reconsider security around the mayor for now.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)