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Cops brace for violence as Tshwane smoulders

2016-06-22 06:03
Atteridgeville (Supplied to News24)

Pretoria - Police officers and lawmen from across Gauteng are bracing for another day of civil unrest in Tshwane after reports of widespread violence overnight.

This follows days of protests in Atteridgeville, Soshanguve, Mamelodi, Hammanskraal and Mabopane after the announcement of Thoko Didiza as the ANC’s mayoral candidate for the sprawling metro.

On Tuesday busses were torched and police were stretched thin to quell mass looting of malls and shops owned by foreign nationals in the townships.

A well-placed police source, who could not be named as he is not authorised to the speak to the press, described the situation in the city’s outlying districts overnight as “chaos”.

“The radio has been going mad all night and all of Pretoria is using one channel so things can be coordinated. The controllers are not even reading normal complaints over the air, it is just violence and looting everywhere,” he said.

He said that looting and gunfire had been reported in various sections of Soshanguve, with officers reporting that they had come under fire in Soshanguve Extension 4.

Unconfirmed reports from Mabopane overnight suggest that houses had been set ablaze and spaza shops owned by foreigners were looted.

Reports of several salvos of gunfire in the area also surfaced.

On Tuesday the ANC stood firm on their assertion that Didiza, who hails from KZN, would be their mayoral candidate.

Responding to the violent backlash, Ministers in the Security Cluster pinned the blame on rogue elements of criminals and vowed to act decisively in response.

The cluster told journalists in a press briefing that police officers from Gauteng had been deployed to flashpoints and that reinforcements from other provinces had yet to be called in.

Top ANC brass are expected to hold branch meetings across the city today in an effort to resolve the issue.  

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Read more on: police  |  anc  |  thoko didiza  |  pretoria  |  johannesburg  |  politics  |  local elections 2016

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