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Policeman "attacked" with chainsaw during violent protests in Mpumalanga


Twenty-five people are expected to appear in the Mayflower Periodical and Tonga Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, following their arrests for public violence, sabotage and damaging essential infrastructure.

The suspects were arrested following violent protests in several areas of the Mpumalanga province.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi says on Monday reports of protests were received from Fernie, Acornhoek, Bushbuckridge and Langeloop where criminals posed as protesters and attacked the local Post Office.

He says the protesters burnt tyres, stole computers, used firearms to hijack trucks, looted shops and threatened to burn public buildings.

Hlathi says in Boschfontein people tried to attack the Periodical Court where a violent mob, who were in possession of a chainsaw, tried to attack the local police officer.

The man with the chainsaw tried to cut the Station Commander's abdomen but he managed to defend himself and injured his finger in the process.

He says shortly after the chainsaw incident a malicious rumour started doing the rounds that the protesters were in possession of the Station Commander's finger.

In Langeloop on Tuesday police also came under attack by protesters and shots were fired to defend themselves.

A member of the public was shot during the incident and later died.

Hlathi says the matter was handed over to the Independent Police Investigation Directorate (IPID) for further investigation.

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