‘Youth involved in protests jeopardise future employability’

Free State’s Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Solly Lesia. Photo: Pierce van Heerden

With the elections looming, community protests have being keeping the police busy. Free State’s Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Solly Lesia, issued a stern warning to the youth stating that during the recent protests, the police mostly arrested the youth.

“We need to make some of our young people aware that if you are arrested for being involved in any conduct constituting breaking the law, that on its own can negatively affect your future as such a record will stay in your name, which might affect any application for employment in the future,” said Lesia.

Lesia added that during the past quarter alone the FS police have had to handle about 12 protests, mainly in Mangaung, Bloemspruit, Kagisanong, Steynsrus, Phuthaditjhaba, Trompsburg, Sasolburg in Zamdela, Botshabelo, Tumahole, Thaba Nchu, Marquard, Koffiefontein and Parys.

“During these disruptive actions whereby streets and busy roads were barricaded with foreign objects like burning tyres and rocks, about 97 people were arrested and charged with crimes such as public violence, malicious damage to property, contempt of court and trespassing among others,” he added.

Lesia said they are more than prepared for the upcoming elections. The police force will be deployed throughout all 110 police stations to police elections both static and mobile in 1529 polling stations in the province.

“Intensive foot and vehicle patrols will be conducted prior, during and after elections in high density areas as well as hot spots which were dominated by disruptive by disruptive actions whereby property was destroyed and other people were intimidated,” concluded Lesia. – Seithati Semenokane