Tensions over jobs spill over into violence

Tensions in Colesberg surrounding the selection of beneficiaries of a road maintenance job creation scheme have taken a turn for the worse. In the early hours of Thursday 26 October, a bakkie belonging to the ANC subregional chairman, Siyabulela Phololo, was torched outside his house. Truck tyres were set alight on the N1, and all traffic along the national route was rerouted through Colesberg.

Mr Phololo’s burn-out bakkie. A police bomb squad was sent to perform a forensic investigation.

Later in the day, SANRAL held a meeting in the Lowryville Community Hall, aimed at resolving the tensions over the selection of beneficiaries. The community remained divided, and SANRAL decided to refer the matter to its head office.

Mr Siyabulela Phololo addresses members of his constituency outside the police station.

In the meantime, Mr Phololo laid charges at the police office. Following this, he briefed members of his constituency outside the police station, calling on them to remain calm, and let the law take its course. The police were expected to make arrests later in the day. A bomb squad was sent to examine his burnt-out bakkie.

In the meantime, observers expressed fears that, if the dispute continued, the contractors would withdraw from Colesberg altogether.

* This is a developing story. Updates to follow.

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