Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Ramaphosa arrives in Mafikeng to address protesters

Cyril Ramaphosa leaves London as protests erupt in South Africa SA leader leaves Commonwealth summit to deal with protests
Ellis Copeland | 21 April, 2018, 22:44

One police Nyala was petrol-bombed.

Speaking at a press briefing on Friday night after a series of meetings in the North West capital‚ Ramaphosa said that he was determined to make the right call based on all evidence available.

South Africa's Independent Online says protesters are using stones as weapons, and police are responding with tear gas and rubber bullets in an attempt to break up the protest.

Violent protests broke out on Wednesday and continued through Thursday, with vehicles torched, stores looted and roads blocked.

In a statement, Ramaphosa expressed "serious concern" over clashes between police and protesters.

Ramaphosa also urged law enforcement authorities to exercise their duties with maximum restraint until calm returns.

Local media said one person was thought to have died in the demonstrations, which erupted earlier this week.

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Public healthcare in the province was brought to a grinding halt by the National Health Allied Worker's Union's (Nehawu) almost two-month industrial action, a strike in some parts and a go-slow in others, which left clinics and hospitals in the province without medication or personnel.

He said the community had raised a number of issues‚ including complaints against Premier Supra Mahumapela‚ service delivery failures and "issues of corruption in the province".

"We are doing our best to keep the situation under control", police spokesman Sabata Mokgwabone told ENCA television.

Neighbouring Botswana said it had closed exit points along its shared border with North West province.

Ramaphosa had been attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London where he was leading a government delegation this week.

Ramaphosa, who took over as leader of the ruling African National Congress in December, replaced Jacob Zuma as national president earlier this year.

Zuma appeared in court earlier this month at a preliminary hearing on graft charges that he denies.

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