The police in the Eastern Cape have condemned the cowardly acts of arson at Bathurst near Port Alfred on Sunday night in which five homes and four vehicles were gutted.
At least nine people were also treated at the local hospital after violent protests erupted at Bathurst on Sunday afternoon.
According to police spokesperson, Brigadier Thembinkosi Kinana, the trouble started at around 5pm when local political party agents took part in a motorcade.
During the procession, groups of local residents started stoning vehicles and attacking members of the community.
At the same time, reports started coming through of homes and vehicles in Bathurst being burnt.
Several cases including arson, malicious damage to property and assault have been opened for investigation.
Brigadier Kinana said the five suspects between the ages of 20 and 55 have already been arrested and that more arrests are imminent.
Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga strongly condemned the incident and added that the Police will not allow people to burn or torch other peoples’ homes or property despite any disagreements or reasons they may have.
She said the 72-hour police Activation Plan has been implemented to ensure that all the perpetrators are brought to book.