Dozens arrested following cemetery violence

Forty-seven people were arrested for public violence on Thursday after a protest against Anglo Platinum’s relocation of bodies from a cemetery in Sekuruwe near Makopane turned violent.

Limpopo police spokesperson Captain Sebotsaro Motadi said the protest started on Wednesday but only became violent at 6am on Thursday when the protesters threw stones at undertakers tasked with relocating the bodies.

Police arrived at 7am and arrested seven people. At about 11am, the protesters again began throwing stones at the undertakers and intimidating them.

At 11.30am, police arrested a further 40 people. By noon the cemetery was calm.

All 47 people are expected to appear before the Mokerong Magistrate’s Court soon on charges of public violence and intimidation, Motadi said.

Motadi said the bodies were being removed for reburial as Anglo Platinum had purchased the land.

Jubilee South Africa alleged, however, that Anglo Platinum was trying to remove the bodies without permission from families.

Simon Tebele, head of corporate communications at Anglo Platinum, said the company had received permission from the deceased’s next of kin for the removal.

“The protests do not affect us in any way and we are continuing with normal activities,” he said.—Sapa

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