Merafe: Hostel dwellers looted shops and broke neighbouring houses during a protest

Merafe Hostel residents embarked on a protest on Saturday. This was after their electricity was cut off.

They took to the streets and vandalised neighbouring houses, breaking their windows and looted local shops.

The community was furious after their windows were smashed and fought back giving the police who tried to keep the peace between the two a hard work.

Police had to fire rubber bullets to separate the wild crowd. A hostel resident said the protest was not meant to be violent.

He said people should stop vandalising and committing crime during these situations.

“It is sad that innocent people become victims of this protest and now they have to fix their houses without any help,” he said.

Mapetla residents say they did know why they were attacked by the hostel residents.

Mary Mokoena, who lives near the hostel said she was sitting in the house when she heard noises and suddenly she heard her window breaking.

“I am very sad because I’m unemployed and it is going to be hard to replace the window,” said Mokoena.

Another resident, Paul Mthethwa said this protest might bring war between the community and the hostel dwellers.

“There have been differences between the community and hostel dwellers but no act of vandalism was experienced until this incident,” said Mthethwa.

Police spokesperson Captain Mpande Khoza said 20 people were arrested and will be charged with public violence.

He said a number of houses were damaged and shops were looted.

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Hosea Mothei
Sorts Journalist

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