Angry Khutsong residents burn houses

Two houses were set on fire on Wednesday during protests in Khutsong outside Carletonville.

Onlookers said one of the homes belonged to councillor Elias Legote.

The other was between his house and Khutsong Stadium, where thousands of residents protested the proposed incorporation of Merafong municipality into North West from Gauteng.

They took to the streets in a mobilisation march after a clash with the police.

Outside the councillor’s burning home, 21-year-old Lebogang Ntsoelengoe said he deserved to have his home torched.

”The councillors live on fat salaries and they do not deliver,” she said, adding that she would not vote in the coming local government elections.

Neighbours, who salvaged furniture, would not say what had happened other than that they had been scared.

At the stadium, two protesters showed rubber-bullet wounds to their eyes.

A police officer was injured during an exchange of rubber bullets and stones between police and protesters.

This was as protest organisers and police began negotiating inside the stadium.

South African Community Party leaders, including Paul Mcewa, appeared to be hit.

Police had positioned themselves in three armoured vehicles in a corner of the stadium’s soccer field and formed riot-combating positions.

One of the SACP leaders said minutes before that police and organisers had met to discuss allowing people inside the stadium to leave.

One of the leaders, Nkosi Mphendule, said the leadership was discussing how to channel the anger of the crowd in constructive ways while not losing momentum.

Outside the stadium, smoke from burning tyres could be seen through the rooftops and while stones flew through the air. — Sapa

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