N8 to Kimberley open following Petrusburg protests


The N8 between Bloemfontein and Kimberley is now open for traffic after disgruntled Petrusburg protesters barricaded the road with burning tyres and rocks on Wednesday morning 21 April.

Free State police spokesperson, Motantsi Makhele, tells OFM News the Public Order Policing unit dispersed the crowd away from the N8 and the team is monitoring the situation closely.

According to Makhele, the group is demanding that they be hired to work on a construction project just outside the town. Motorist Johan Bonthuyzen was among those who were on the busy N8 road when the protesters brought traffic to a halt and began barricading the road with tyres and rocks.

Meanwhile, the Free State police are keeping a close eye on the situation at Winburg and Theunissen respectively, after unrest flared up in the towns and tens of protesters were arrested. The Theunissen protesting group is reported to have scattered refuse material in the Masilo Township in addition to barricading the ZR Mahabane Road.

Whilst schools and traffic flow were disrupted, the situation remained a far cry from the chaos that engulfed neighbouring Winburg, where roughly 21 more people, including minors, were arrested for public violence on Monday.

It has also been reported that at least 13 small shops – mostly owned by foreign nationals – were looted and damaged since last week.

OFM News / Olebogeng Motse