NEWS

Lichtenburg Community Will Continue To Protest If Their Demands Are Not Met

"The community is really furious."

12/10/2017 09:04 SAST | Updated 12/10/2017 09:04 SAST
Mike Hutchings / Reuters
File photo.

Lichtenburg community leader Jody Eksteen said if North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo did not take effective steps to ensure that promises made to the Byldeville community are fulfilled, protesting would continue.

This in the wake of protests in that town that led to a 15-year-old boy being shot dead on Tuesday morning by a man who allegedly opened fire on the protesters.

READ: Distressed Lichtenburg Mom Recounts The Events Leading To Her Son's Death

"We will continue [to protest] and we do not know to what extent, because the community is really furious," he said.

Community members took to the street to protest on Tuesday morning to show their frustration over what they believe is the provincial government's failure to deliver services promised to them following a protest in April.

Earlier this year, they handed over a memorandum to the municipal office asking that they be provided with a 24-hour clinic, RDP houses and a high school.

People were also frustrated after they heard that the land that had been demarcated to build the houses was allegedly sold to the Zionist Church. This meant they would be moved to an area that is isolated, which will increase travel costs.

"The premier deployed some MECs to come and look into the issues of Blydeville, the things that the community wants. Since then there [has been] no feedback [and] that caused an uproar," Eksteen said.

"I must say from the start it was organised to be a peaceful protest but when the 15-year-old child was shot, it caused a whole confusion in the community and changed the whole focus."

He said the protest was meant to be peaceful; however, police often provoke community members.

"Last night [Tuesday] I heard gunshots and it was the police travelling on foot shooting at the community. That is one thing we really condemn as the community because every time there is a protest, the community starts peacefully, but the police are the ones who are provoking the people..."

He said community members have been deeply saddened by the murder of 15-year-old Joseph Spense Tshukudu who was killed during the protests.

"I must say from the start it was organised to be a peaceful protest, but when the 15-year-old child was shot, it caused a whole confusion in the community and changed the whole focus."

Tshukudu's alleged killer handed himself over to police on Wednesday and is expected to make his second court appearance later today [Thursday].

The SAPS's Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone said the police were are not aware of allegations of provocation.