Two people have been killed in the Mamelodi area and police have arrested more than 40 people over continued protests in Tshwane.
The city and surrounding areas like Mamelodi, Atteridgeville, and Mabopane have experienced waves of violent protests since the African National Congress (ANC) announced Thoko Didiza as a mayoral candidate for the city in the upcoming local government elections.
There was a heavy police presence in Pretoria West on Wednesday where a crowd of violent protesters were dispersed by officers. There were more than 40 police officers on the scene with some flying over the area as protesters threatened to go back to the streets where they were pelting cars with stones.
An angry crowd of residents of the Malusi informal settlement in Pretoria West, earlier on Wednesday, shouted at police officers telling them to vacate the area.
The situation then turned violent with some of the protesters pelting some police vehicles with stones.
Residents of the informal settlement say they do not trust that Didiza will embrace some of projects that the outgoing Mayor of Tshwane, Kgosientso Ramokgopha, was busy with, which were geared towards developing the informal settlement.
Community leader in the area, Mantladi Nkadimeng, says, “After the announcement of the mayoral candidate in this municipality, the community started to have some concern, because there were development process that were taking place in the area. Now they are busy with the electrification, now there are concerns that development is going to delayed by the incoming mayor.”
Earlier on Wednesday, a meeting between ANC leaders and Tshwane Metro branches was postponed. On Tuesday, party leaders visited Atteridgeville, Hammanskraal and Mamelodi, promising residents they would take their concerns to Secretary General Gwede Mantashe.
No reason was given for the postponement.
Meanwhile, the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation has accused government of failing to act timeously to prevent an escalation in township violence in the Tshwane Metro.
The Centre’s Senior Advocacy Officer, Annah Moyo, explains, “Poorer communities, bus commuters, foreign shop keepers and foreigners, amongst others, are the ones bearing the brunt of this violence. This violence is an indication that people are frustrated by their exclusion from political processes. The violence is also the pointer to the failure of leadership to anticipate and respond to community concerns timeously and appropriately.” – edited by Sipho Kekana
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