President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday called on law-enforcement agencies to exercise maximum restraint in execution of their duties to return calm and normalcy to North West Province ravaged by violent protests.
Ramaphosa cut short his participation in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London to handle the ongoing protests in the province.
Local residents took to the streets in parts of the province earlier this week, demanding that North West premier Supra Mahumapelo step down because his son allegedly got a one-million-rand (about 84,000-U.S.-dollar) bursary from state-owned arms manufacturer Denel whereas local students were struggling to get funding for tertiary education.
The protests turned violent on Thursday as protesters in the township of Mahikeng went on a rampage looting foreign owned shops, prompting police to use teargas and fire rubber bullets to control the situation.
Several people were reportedly injured.
“President Cyril Ramaphosa has noted, with serious concern, reports of protest and clashes between protesters and police in the North-West Province,” his spokesperson Khusela Diko said.
Ramaphosa has called for calm and adherence to the rule of law in the province and has called on all aggrieved parties to express their grievances through peaceful means and engagement rather than violence and anarchy, Diko said. Enditem