South Africa's Ramaphosa flies in to try and quell northern protests

  • South Africa's Ramaphosa flies in to try and quell northern protests

South Africa's Ramaphosa flies in to try and quell northern protests

Following their meeting, he pleaded with the residents for time to come up with a solution, after consultations with the community and entire North West Province.

Protesters seeking jobs, better housing, roads and hospitals frequently clash with police in South Africa, where weak economic growth has left more than one in four workers unemployed.

"To pay attention to the situation in the North West, the president has made a decision to cut short his participation in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London where he is leading a government delegation", a statement said.

South Africa's new president Cyril Ramaphosa appealed for calm on Friday after flying into the northern city of Mahikeng to try to quell an outbreak of violent demonstrations.

Ramaphosa would be accompanied by ANC secretary general Ace Magashule, deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte and ANC NEC members.

The South African president called for calm and asked law enforcement to "exercise maximum restraint" in a statement issued on Thursday amid clashes in North West province.

The protests turned violent on Thursday as protesters in the township of Mahikeng went on a rampage looting foreign owned shops, prompting police to use teargas and fire rubber bullets to control the situation.

Mr Mahumapelo's office has denounced the protests as an attempt to discredit him.

The protesters shouted "we are not fighting, we are not fighting".

Mahumapelo has denied the allegations, and has called the protests "an anti-Supra Mahumapelo political campaign which seeks to intimidate residents of Mahikeng".

Rocks and tyres were then removed from the road to allow vehicles through.

Vehicles were also set alight.

Ramaphosa will consult the African National Congress's (ANC) so-called top-six leaders about Supra Mahumapelo, International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu told reporters in London Friday.

Ramaphosa on Friday vowed to "speedily" address the complaints raised by protestors after cutting short his trip to the United Kingdom for the Commonwealth Summit to attend to the violent protests in the province.