By Tsundukani Zitha
HOEDSPRUIT – The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Limpopo Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba has learnt with dismay and disbelieve the magnitude of the destruction of government properties that took place on Monday 16th April.
Limpopo Police Spokesperson Lt. Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe says that the police were notified of the protest that took place at Finale village near Hoedspruit and reacted swiftly, but on arrival they were met by the sight of destruction of properties worth millions of Rands.
“Protestors started throwing stones at workers and to the equipment that was there. One worker was seriously injured, equipment, cars and machineries were severely damaged,” said Ngoepe.
Preliminary police investigations indicated that violence earlier erupted in the Finale village near Hoedspruit outside Phalaborwa when members of the community went on rampage and attacked the site of a Water Project which is a contract under the Department of Water and Sanitation.
“All those damaged items belong to the Department of Water and Sanitation, the estimated damage caused during this incident is about R4 million,” noted Ngoepe.
Lt. Colonel Ngoepe further stated that the injured victim was taken to the local clinic for medical treatment and the situation is now quiet, but the Police are still monitoring it closely.
“The suspects in this matter are still unknown, no arrest has been made and Police investigations are still continuing,” said Ngoepe.
The police request anyone with information which can lead to the arrests of the suspects in this matter to contact Captain Cobra Moriri at 082 573 4773 or the nearest Police Station.
Lt. Colonel Ngoepe says that if members of the community are having any form of complaint against whoever, they must raise such complaints peacefully and legally without any damage to property or harming anyone.
“Those who are still perpetrating this type of tendency, will be dealt with accordingly and without compromise,” said Ngoepe.
“Community members are once again warned to desist from acts of public violence that often leads to destruction of property and injury to people. The police will continue to hunt all those responsible for this destruction”, concluded General Ledwaba.