Angry Bekkersdal protesters turn on police station
Members of the police in Bekkersdal‚ west of Joburg‚ and the Public Order Policing unit on the West Rand had to ward off a crowd of people who attacked the Bekkersdal police station on Friday afternoon.
Police spokeswoman Sergeant Linkie Lefakane said police responded at about 12:30pm to a group of about 300 people who were marching towards the R28 while protesting for electricity.
“More manpower was requested from other stations. As the police were monitoring and trying to drive the crowd back into Bekkersdal‚ the crowd started pelting members with stones and ended up damaging a state-owned vehicle‚” said Lefakane.
She said police managed to disperse the crowd‚ which then returned to Bekkersdal and attacked the police station. “Members’ privately-owned vehicles‚ including the station commander’s vehicle‚ were badly damaged‚” she said.
“The members managed to arrest two suspects and they will be charged with public violence‚” she said.
No injuries were reported.
Colonel Tinus Swart‚ the station commander of Bekkersdal police station‚ condemned the violent behaviour and urged the community to refrain from resorting to violence.
“Police are there to serve and protect the community‚” said Swart. “They are not your enemies.”