North West police apprehend 17 suspects for public violence and possession of suspected stolen goods

North West police apprehend 17 suspects for public violence and possession of suspected stolen goods


POTCHEFSTROOM: Consequent to incidents of public violence in Boikhutso Location outside Lichtenburg on Tuesday, 21 April 2020, a total of 17 suspects; six females and 11 males were arrested after being found in possession of suspected stolen goods.

The arrests came as a result of the operation which was launched after members of the community looted goods from several tuckshops. Prior to this, two police vehicles as well as an ambulance were set alight after a police vehicle allegedly hit an eight-year-old boy who was later certified dead on the scene. It was during the incident that goods were looted from the first tuckshops.

Of the 17 suspects, two were charged and warned to appear in the Lichtenburg Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 6 July 2020 for possession of suspected stolen goods and public violence.  The other 15 suspects were released pending Social Workers’ assessment report in terms of the Child Justice Act, 2008 (Act No. 75 of 2008). They are currently placed under the care of their parents and will be assessed between Tuesday, 5 and Thursday, 14 May 2020.

It is alleged that a K9 Unit vehicle driven by a 48-year-old Warrant Officer allegedly hit the child who ran from the yard to cross Kudu Street at approximately 13:00. Subsequent to the incident, members of the community set alight two police vehicles and the ambulance. Furthermore, a local municipality traffic vehicle was pelted with stones.  Following the incident, three police officials and two paramedics were taken to the hospital for medical examination.

Earlier on that day, there was an accident in which a 17-year-old girl died on the scene after being hit by an Isuzu bakkie at about 10:20 on the Ottosdal-Lichtenburg road near Blydeville.  As a result, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) took over the Boikhutso culpable homicide case for investigation while the police are investigating a case of public violence against members of the community.