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2023/10/13      |  Written By:  Brigadier S Mokgwabone   |   Province:  North West

POTCHEFSTROOM: 13 October 2023 - A multidisciplinary team comprising of the Provincial Organised and Anti-Gang Units as well as Tactical Response Team (TRT) and Visible Policing, arrested six suspects during a disruptive operation on Tuesday morning, 10 October 2023, for extortion, intimidation and robbery. Reports suggest that the suspects are part of a group that blocked JB Marks Local Municipality waste collection trucks from offloading waste at Potchefstroom landfill site. The group known as Business Consortium, reportedly wrote a letter to the Municipal Manager to demand a meeting, which was eventually held on Wednesday, 4 October 2023. During the meeting, the group allegedly demanded jobs and threatened to close the landfill site.

The group subsequently closed the landfill site gates and prevented the trucks from offloading waste, thus, hampering service delivery to the community. On Monday, 9 October 2023, the group once more closed the gate and barricaded the road leading to the landfill site with stones and other objects.  Further to that, the group forcefully took one of the trucks’ key and used it to barricade the road. However, TRT and Public Order Police (POP) members were summoned to intervene and the road was cleared.

The accused; Brownwell Magasi (44) Adams Clint (44), Stuart Scharick (37), Majob Isaac (40), Klaasen Fernando (32) and Morne Draai (36), firstly appeared in court on Wednesday, 11 October 2023, and the case was postponed to Thursday, 12 October 2023, for formal bail application. They were granted R1 000.00 bail each and ordered to report at a police station twice on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The matter has been postponed until Thursday, 16 November 2023. 

The Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena thanked the team for the arrest and warned that the police will not hesitate to deal effectively with anyone who undermines the authority of the State and obstructs the provision of services to the community as it occurred in this incident.