DA to lay charges against N Cape protesters

Johannesburg - The DA planned to lay criminal charges against protesters who prevented children from attending school in Kuruman in the Northern Cape, it said on Sunday.

"The police must now act and ensure that these learners are receiving the education to which they are constitutionally guaranteed," DA spokesperson Samkelo Mgobozi said in a statement.

Democratic Alliance MP Annette Lovemore and MPL Safiyia Stanfley would lay the charges at the Kimberley police station on Monday.

Members of a group calling themselves the Road Forum began protesting on 5 June demanding that a 130km stretch of road in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district municipality be tarred, Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas's spokesperson Monwabisi Nkompela said at the time.

The protesters were allegedly barring pupils and staff from going to school to get the attention of the authorities.

Nkompela said the tender to tar the road was opened on 12 June 12 and closed on 18 July.

"The tender is at a stage where the project managers at the [roads and public works] department are evaluating which bidder met the specific requirements."

Mgobozi said the party called upon police to intervene and ensure that all pupils return to school.

He said the party would also announce what steps would be taken against the provincial government for "their failure to ensure service delivery to residents".

The department of basic education said in July that it suspected acts of arson in the area were linked to the protests since 5 June.