30 held after Mossel Bay protest
Johannesburg - Thirty people have been arrested for public violence and looting shops during protests in Kwanonqaba in Mossel Bay, Western Cape police said on Wednesday.
The protest was apparently over service delivery and electricity in the area, and the 30 people were arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday, Captain Malcolm Pojie said.
"They are all still in custody," he said.
The protests began on Sunday, with people barricading roads with burning tyres, sticks, and stones.
"They also burnt down the Kwanonqaba municipal building, next to the local police station," said Pojie.
He said the protesters also tried to burn down the station, but police managed to prevent them.
The protest began with about one hundred people on Sunday, while the number grew to about 3000 on Monday and 7000 on Tuesday.
"There is just a small grouping today [Wednesday] and the situation is much calmer, said Pojie.
He was unable to provide the number of protesters assembled on Wednesday.
The protesters threw petrol bombs at police, who then used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowd.
"A police helicopter is also being used to monitor the crowd from above," said Pojie.
He said there were no reported cases of any injuries. Police were monitoring the protesters.
The arrested protesters would appear in the Mossel Bay Magistrate's Court soon.