Mooi River mayor removed - report

Pietermaritzburg - The African National Congress would not confirm reports that it had sacked Mooi Mpofana local municipality mayor Ntombi Mpangase in the wake of protests during the past week.

The Witness newspaper reported on Friday that Mpangase and three other ANC councillors had been fired by the party.

However, ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala declined to confirm or deny the report.

"We will publicly pronounce ourselves at the correct time," he told Sapa on Friday.

He said talks had been held with the community.

Rubber bullets

The protests started last Friday but died down over the weekend. They erupted again on Monday and Wednesday, when police were forced to use rubber bullets to disperse protesters throwing stones on the N3.

The protesters had been calling for Mpangase's sacking.

The Witness also reported that the ANC had asked the co-operative governance and traditional affairs department to place the municipality under administration.

However, department spokesperson Lennox Mabaso told Sapa he was not aware of the report and a statement on the municipality would be issued later on Friday.

On Monday police said they had arrested 10 people. It was not immediately clear if more had been arrested during Wednesday's protests.

On Monday the province's co-operative governance and traditional affairs department said it had sent a rapid response team to defuse the situation.