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Six charged with extortion after dumping site blocked

A multi-disciplinary team arrested six suspects that threatened local JB Marks Municipality and hindered service delivery by blocking a landfill site.

A multidisciplinary team arrested six suspects in the Potchefstroom area on Tuesday morning, 10 October’

The team consisted of the Provincial Organised and Anti-Gang Units as well as Tactical Response Team(TRT) and Visible Policing. the arrests occurred during a disruptive operation on Tuesday morning, 10 October for extortion, intimidation and robbery.

Reports suggest that the suspects are part of a group that blocked J.B. Marks 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 demanding a meeting. The meeting was eventually held on Wednesday 4 October. 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, hampering service delivery to the community. On Monday 9 October the group once more closed the gate and barricaded the road leading to the landfill site with stones and other objects.  The group forcefully took one of the trucks’ key and used it to barricade the road . TRT and Public Order Police(POP) members were deployed to intervene and the road was cleared.

The accused is Brownwell Magasi(44), Adams Clint(44), Stuart Scharick(37), Majob Isaac(40), Klaasen Fernando(32) and Morne Draai(36). They appeared in court on Wednesday, 11 October and the case was postponed to Thursday, 12 October for formal bail application. They were granted R1 000 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.

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.

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