Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mpumalanga Unrest: Bird's eye view

An unusual sight, a police helicopter armed with tear gas and shot guns outside the Engen Belfast on the N4: As I was interviewing the two police pilots from the Provincial Air Wing (based in Nelspruit), and a local policeman from Belfast - all three refused to give me their names or to take their photos - they were alerted to trouble in Siyathuthuka, the township outside Belfast. They then started preparing to take off. I had noticed two shotguns and asked them what the grey canisters were. "Tear-gas, but maybe we shouldn't be telling you that," they said before clamming up. I'm now on my way to Siyathuthuka after a harrowing morning in Emthonjeni, Machadodorp.

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