The Guard

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Teen dies in community protest

By Masilo Malakwane

QWAQWA  – A teenager lost his life at the weekend as the community of Beruit in Phuthaditjhaba staged a protest which saw them blockade entrances to Crescent mall with burning tyres demanding electricity.

Mbuyiswa Buthelezi, a 15-year old grade 9 high school pupil of Kgola Thuto, died from injuries he sustained when he fell off a moving bakkie.

The South African Police Services confirmed that the deceased fell from the back of the bakkie and died while they were busy placing the tyres in the middle of the Mampoi road close to the mall.

Police spokesperson in Thabo Mofutsanyana, Captain Phumelele Dlamini said a 42-year old Foreign National who was driving the bakkie has been arrested along with five more suspects. They will appear before the Phuthaditjhaba magistrate court soon charged with public violence.

The Beirut residents’ protests were triggered by constant power outages for almost three weeks.

The family of the deceased were present at the scene to witness their son’s remains taken to a nearby mortuary.

Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality Council Speaker, Paratlane Motloung was also present at the scene. He told the media that “the electricity crisis in MAP is a huge problem that affects us all”.

Meanwhile, Executive Mayor, Gilbert Mokotso expressed his regret at the death. “We condemn the violence in whatever form and shape and regret the loss of life. We pass our sincere condolences to the bereaved family,” said Mokotso

He further revealed that the electricity department explained all the technical difficulties that they are faced with. “Together we agreed on the way forward. That is why it is so difficult to believe that Beirut residents could be behind these unacceptable acts of violence.” said Mokotso.

The Crescent mall and Setsing shopping complex have since been opened, with SAPS public order police patrolling and monitoring the situation.