South African government has lost properties worth millions to diverse violent protests and this has drawn the government back in terms of infrastructural development. About 13 schools has been burnt down just in a week following violent protests in Limpopo.
With the recent report of three more schools being torched around Limpopo’s Vhembe District on Tuesday night, records of damaged properties has continued to increase at a more disturbing rate.
On Monday, four schools were vandalized after residents were informed that a high court dismissed their application to exclude their area from a new municipality.
The Municipal Demarcation Board took up a decision to incorporate Limpopo’s Vhembe District into the new Vhembe district municipality but residents of the area took up the street in protest against it and the Limpopo police say this protest has seen more government properties being raised down.
Demonstrators started by blocking the access road to the village in the rural Makhado municipal area with stones. They marched on the streets insisting that government reverse its decision to include them in their plans.
Part of the schools torched include Rasikhuthuma Secondary School at Masakona village and a school official said school assets, as well as records, were among the things burnt.
Tuckshop owner Thomas Munyai who was accused of supporting the move to incorporate the village into the new municipality was shocked to see his shop burnt down.
“I closed my business in honour of [the] shut-down in the area, and later in the evening I received a call that my shop was burnt.
“When I arrived, I found that they also looted the stock,” said Munyai.
The protests were apparently intended to frustrate SA’s Electoral Commission voter registration drive this weekend. The voters registration centers in the area were reported to remain closed.
However, Police spokesperson Malesela Ledwaba said arson cases have been opened though no arrest have been made yet.
“We have not yet arrested anybody and we’re still looking for suspects. The schools I’m talking about are completely burned down. One was partially burnt but two others were just damaged.”
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa met with the protest leaders on Saturday amidst heavy police guard
Meanwhile, President Zuma had condemned incessant violent protests engaged by south Africans. He says violent protests undermines the freedom and democracy for which many people fought and died.
“Let me reiterate that our freedom was not free. It was fought for and many lives were lost for its attainment,” Zuma told the crowd at the Giyani Stadium in Limpopo as he encouraged the people to collectively work to defend the country.