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Alex residents hesitant to talk

2014-05-10 18:07
People walk past an armoured police vehicle in Alexandra, east of Johannesburg, after the army was deployed to quell violence following national elections. (Mujahid Safodien, AFP)

Johannesburg - Alexandra residents say they fear for their lives after post-election protests broke out in the Johannesburg township.

On Saturday morning, most people were hesitant to talk, saying they did not want to endanger their lives.

Most claimed not to have witnessed any violence and only woke up to see barricaded streets.

Remains of burned tyres were seen, and on Sixth Avenue, rocks placed in the road slowed people trying to drive through.


Two men sitting outside the hostel described those involved in the protests as "dangerous men", but would not elaborate.

Another man, a small shop owner, who was initially hesitant to speak, said the protests were bad for business.

The streets became quiet after police and soldiers were deployed to the township, he said.

"If people are scared to come outside, business become slow."

Police vehicles were seen driving up and down most streets in the township on Saturday.

A man swept and removed debris from the front of his house.

His house was opposite the Post Office building where the temporary Electoral Commission offices were based during the national and provincial elections.

Stun grenades

The man said he did not know what the protest was about because there were many stories circulating regarding the elections.

He spoke on condition of anonymity, because he feared the protesters would burn his house down.

"Some say the ANC threw away EFF and IFP ballot papers. That's the story going around," he said.

He said no one was attacked in the area but protesters targeted the building.

Rubber bullets and stun grenades were fired on Friday afternoon to disperse protesters who were demanding the release of those arrested during another protest on Thursday.

Police said dozens of people were arrested on public violence charges on Friday evening.

Read more on: anc  |  iec  |  eff  |  ifp  |  johannesburg  |  elections 2014

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