Tunatazama - Community Monitors

Dermarcation Massacre

It started on Sunday in a meeting hosted by Metsimaholo concerned residents at Zamdela stadium known as Moses Motane (a liberation struggle hero) on the 20th January 2013. It was in the early hours in the morning when the residents gathered. They wanted to know from the mayor and its council from Metsimaholo municipality as to wether the municipality was going to merge with Ngwathe municipality.The community only wanted clarity and to voice out their concerns on the issue. But nobody from the expected government officials came to address this issue to the community. People got angry by the fact that they where brought there and no one showed up.They were having massages like “No demarcation No Problem”, “No to Parys”. They started singing struggle songs that led to nothing but riot.
They formed groups to mobilise in the community for people who where not on the gathering. Th word got even as far as Denesville known as Vaaldam and Orangeville, other towns that also formed part of Metsimaholo. The groups agreed to meet at the municipal offices as they came from different directions. When they arrived in town (Sasolburg) they gathered in the parking lot in front of the Sasolburg police station with messages like “ACE ha o modimo wa free state” in English it says “Ace is not Free State god”.
Clothing, jewellery shops were broken into and some of the shops where left with windows broken as they couldn’t go inside.Police managed to get the crowd out of the shopping complex to direct them to where they aimed to go in the first place which was the municipal offices. While the police and some of the leaders tryed to address the angry crowd that they will continue in the next day the other group of young stars managed to get into the municipality offices and trashed windows and the computers inside. In the meantime they also started a fire in the parking lot singing around it. They all agreed to go back to location. On the way back police cars marked “Welkom and TRT (Tactical Response Team)” arrived. These police then opened fire and threw what looked hand grenades into the crowd. This made the people more angry because Sasolburg and Zamdela police where just standing around. One of the community members said “Our police understands what we are fighting for” referring to Zamdela and the Sasolburg police. As soon the crowed got into the location they started looting shops around. Indian ( Bangladeshi) ones where the most targeted ones and ATMs also were broken into .
On the second day it was Monday,no school was open and people did not go to work. There was no transport. Chaos continue to happen now aimed at big shops around. When one of the groups went to Zio Cash and Cary others were targeting Save right and Cash Build that were just next to Zamdela police station. Even the ambulance was noticed on the scene, people where loading paint into it. Municipal cars were burned and there were no cars that were moving because the streets where closed with burning tires. The only cars that were moving were police . They were trying to call order in the community. People where arrested, shot at by police.This happened till the next day when we heard on the community radio station (KARABO FM) that the premier of Free State Ace Makgashule was coming to address the community at 10.00am. People attended in numbers but as usual no one wanted to address the issue of demarcation with the masses. The premier did not show up as well until 12.00 when they heard that the Minister from the demarcation board, < Minister Baloyi was in town. He arrived at the police station and moved to the local radio station next to the stadium, not where the people where gathering. THe people got more angry and decided to move from there to the police station where they claimed that he was hiding.
They were now out side the police station singing and wanted to burn it. Amongst the crowd Pule Thulo was short dead while he was trying to climb over the wall of the station by the police. Police continued to use live ammunition and killed other people and arrested over 100 people. The number arrested, increased when they were doing house to house search for stolen goods from Cash Build. The committee was selected to speak on behalf of the resident the likes of Lucky Malebu to speak with the Demarcation board and the matter still continues.

(Picture from Mail and Guardian)