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Staff Reporter

Seven people have been arrested in connection with protests that have disrupted businesses, schooling and transport services across Bloemfontein today.

Free State police spokesperson Brigadier Sam Makhele confirmed protestors had blocked several roads in the provincial capital with burning tyres, stones and debris.

“So far seven suspects have been arrested and will appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court soon for public violence,” he said in a statement this morning.

Makhele said the police spent most of last night patrolling points that the participants of the protest and shutdown targeted to block in order to disturb the normal movement of people.

“Motorists and commuters are urged to exercise caution and be vigilant as they drive to work . . .” he said.

“A number of police officers are on the ground so as to monitor the situation and ensure the safety of people within Mangaung.”

Makhele said the roads barricaded with burning tyres, stones and debris included the following:

  • George Lubbe Road, near Power Station – (Mangaung area)
  • Moshoeshoe Road, from Action Garage up to Kenworth Spar – (Mangaung area)
  • Taelo Moloisiwa Road at the cross of Mafora and Dinaweng – (Kagisanong area)
  • Makoane Street – (Kagisanong area)
  • Moshoeshoe Road near Shoprite Centre – (Kagisanong area).
  • Tau Street, Phase Two, near KK Tarven – (Kagisanong area)
  • Dr Belcher Road, near Engen Garage – (Heidedal area)
  • Old Thaba Nchu Road, first entrance into Grassland – (Bloemspruit area)
  • Maphisa Road – (Mangaung area)
  • Cross near Atang School – (Kopanong area)
  • N6 Road and Southpark Cemetery – (Kagisanong area)
  • Lengau Testing Centre
  • Cross of Mothibi Street and Singonzo Street
  • Dewetsdorp Road from Highway Supply Complex – (Bloemspruit area)
  • Meadows Road near Klawer – (Bloemspruit area)

The organisers of the shutdown, a grouping calling itself Mangaung Community Concern, last night said they want the city council disbanded because it has failed to serve the residents as shown by the deplorable state of Bloemfontein.

They also want city manager Tankiso Mea fired because they say he has failed to execute his duties, while they also want a forensic audit into the operations of the municipality as they suspect several illicit developments could be going on.

The organisers also want the over 3 600 vacant posts in the municipality filled and more contracts for projects to be given to locals, among other demands.

The Mangaung Metro Municipality has on the other hand said it has made significant progress in addressing the issues raised by local businesses and community groups.

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