Pretoria – Police are monitoring several areas in the south of Johannesburg after violent protests broke out, resulting in the destruction of property and major road closures.
On Monday, Eldorado Park residents took to the streets to demand basic services, with housing at the top of their list. They were engaged in a running battle with police, who constantly fired rubber bullets at them. Several shops were vandalised and looted during the chaos.
In Finetown, residents barricaded the Golden Highway near Lenasia with rubble when they took to the streets regarding issues around land.
The communities have vowed to continue with their protests until their housing demands are met.
Meanwhile, protests were reported this morning in Ennerdale, also in the south of Johannesburg, with main entrances in and out of the area blockaded with burning tyres and rocks.
North West, Coligny
In the North West, police also had their hands full on Monday, as violent demonstrations took place in Coligny following the Magistrate’s Court decision to grant bail to murder accused Pieter Doorewaad and Phillip Schutte.
The pair allegedly killed 16-year-old Matlhomola Moshoeu after the teenager allegedly stole sunflowers from a farm.
Community members reacted to the bail decision by burning at least three houses, targeting farmers’ houses.
A photojournalist was attacked while trying to take pictures of a farmer’s house, which had been torched.
Minister condemns violent protest
While acknowledging the right of protesters to protest in communicating their grievances, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has condemned the violent nature of the protests, especially the targeting of journalists, whose mandate is to report on the protests.
In a statement, Minister Mbalula urged all community members to be alert in these protesting areas.
“South Africans have the right to lawfully protest but in exercising that right, they must not undermine the rights of others. Therefore, damage to public and private property will not be tolerated.”
The Minister also urged media representatives to wear reflective clothing and drive in marked vehicles.
Police and traffic officers have been deployed to all protesting areas monitoring and containing the situation to protect citizens and prevent further damage to property
Minister Mbalula urged the SAPS to bring law and order.