N1 traffic flowing again at Winburg – FS police

PHOTO: Blaine Jones

Free State traffic, which was blocked earlier by protesters on the N1 at Winburg, continues to flow normally, according to the Free State police.

This as irate residents in the volatile area of Makeleketla in Winburg continues to protest, OFM News reports.

Police spokesperson, Motansti Makhele, says 21 protesting residents have been arrested for public violence this week and have been released on R500 bail. He says the group will again appear in the Winburg Local Magistrate’s Court on 14 May 2021 on these same charges.

The protests in the area were ignited after planned Freedom Day Celebrations – previously set to be held in the area – were moved to Botshabelo outside Bloemfontein.

During the protests, over 13 shops were allegedly looted between Friday and Saturday, with the stock loss estimated at R2 million. Some residents, however, have blamed the criminal element for the looting and damaging of foreign nationals’ shops.

One of the concerned residents said those who are looting these shops are trying to use the plight for selfish reasons.

Earlier, residents have issued a stern warning to the premier, Sisi Ntombela, amidst the protests in that area. Residents blocked the N1 road with burning tyres, preventing motorists from passing.

OFM News / Lucky Nkuyane