Tensions remain high in the North West on Friday morning following a night of running battles between protesters and police officers ahead of a visit by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Two hours ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit to Mahikeng, police have fired a fresh round of rubber bullets to disperse protesters.
The North West community is demanding the resignation of Premier Supra Mahumapelo, accusing him of fraud and corruption.
During the protests on Thursday, a man died, several buildings and vehicles were torched, and shops looted.
Twenty-three people have been arrested, so far.
The police’s Sabata Mokgwabone says, “We’re managing the crowd… here and there, we’re forced to use rubber bullets.”
#SupraMahumapelo: Tense morning around Mahikeng following a night of violent protests. Residents have vowed to intensify demonstrations as they call for the premier to step down. MS pic.twitter.com/qk8YoWQvtY— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) April 20, 2018
#SupraMahumapelo: The aftermath of protests in #Mahikeng last night: The Mmabana Arts Centre was ransacked and set alight. Officials are in shock and disbelief as they try take stock of the damage. MS pic.twitter.com/qjeIB26frM— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) April 20, 2018
At the same time, the Education Department says schools in Mahikeng are not safe for pupils and teachers amid the ongoing protests.
The department’s Elijah Mhlanga says they will decide on Sunday, whether to re-open schools on Monday.
“Schools have been closed in Mahikeng area to allow the situation to settle down because we don’t want to put our learners and teachers in danger.”
WATCH: Mahikeng on a knife-edge as protesters demand Mahumapelo’s removal