Half of the Harrismith N3 protestors who appeared in court to face charges of public violence on Thursday already have criminal records.
Freestate regional SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele said that of the 12 suspects who appeared in the Harrismith Magistrates court following the violent protests on the N3, six had been remanded in custody because they have previous criminal records.
Makhele said there were also several minors among the suspects who will be kept under supervision.
“The police visibility is high in Harrismith, Intabazwe, Makgolokweng Village, Tshiame A and B ,” Makhele said.
He said police were monitoring the “unpredictable” protest situation. He said protests had spread on Thursday to other sections of Harrismith where police were called to disperse protestors who had barricaded roads and were burning tyres in the township and N5 area.
|”The tyres were removed as there were no protestors nearby. The group of protestors at Tshiame A section were putting stones on the roads. The police have arrested seven suspects this morning pertaining this incident,” Makhele said.
Makhele said that a further four suspects had been released on a warning, while two suspects who were released on bail are expected to appear in court again on June 18. He said the six who had been remanded in custody would appear in court on 22 June.