Roads re-open after violent Benoni protest

2012-10-17 14:50
Some of the 500 people who took part in the march on Wednesday. (Firoz Salajee, MyNews24)

Some of the 500 people who took part in the march on Wednesday. (Firoz Salajee, MyNews24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Johannesburg - Some roads were re-opened in Wattville outside Benoni on Wednesday after they were earlier blockaded by protesters living on the outskirts of the township.

Rocks, tree trunks and tyres had been placed in the middle of the roads, preventing motorists from passing.

Parts of the Benoni CBD were left in ruins as hundreds of protesters made their way to the city's municipal offices to deliver a memorandum of grievances.

Dustbins were overturned, garbage bags torn open and cement litter bins were uprooted and thrown onto the streets by demonstrators who came from the Emandleni, Emlotheni, Harry Gwala and local hostels.

The crowds marched to the official buildings to demand houses as well as better services.

People trampled

Outside the municipal offices, several protesters hurled stones and sticks at policemen who stood cordoning off the building. Police officers retaliated with rubber bullets.

Around 20 people were injured and were trampled on as those who were in front turned and tried to flee.

A few of the alleged instigators were arrested and taken away in police vehicles and the crowds were then dispersed.

As hundreds of them started their walk back to the informal settlements, others vandalised cars and shops along their way.

"I can't believe they did this," said one motorist who came out of shop to find his passenger window broken.

‘Not what we planned’

A Sapa reporter on the scene counted at least five badly damaged cars.

A man identified as the protest leader, Ezekial Mtungwa, walked behind the crowds.

"I am disappointed in them. This was not what we had planned," he said.

"I have told the police to take charge."

Mtungwa was part of a delegation that went into the offices to speak to officials from the department of housing.

"We wanted answers... People have been waiting for houses for a while and instead, money is disappearing and nothing is being done," he added.

They delivered a memorandum to the officials and said they were expecting a response within 14 days.

"If we don't get answers, we will march again, but next time we won't even apply for the march."

The protesters said they were tired of unfulfilled promises from officials.

"Until when will we live in shacks", read some of their placards.

Heavy police presence

Among the marchers were children dressed in school uniforms.

Many of the protesters carried sticks, golf clubs, knobkerries and branches ripped from trees as they marched.

A police helicopter hovered and a heavy police presence was seen outside the building as well as on the streets that led to the nearby Lakeside Mall.

"We vote but get nothing in return," said protester Ludwick Mavundla.

Earlier, workers and schoolchildren were prevented from accessing or leaving the township as large rocks were placed in the middle of the exits.

Taxis were also not operating.

"We don't know why they are including us in this," said a resident who identified herself as Sarah.
A letter circulated around the township yesterday said this would be a peaceful march.
- SAPA
Read more on:    johannesburg  |  protests  |  housing
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
23 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Get fit on a budget

It’s time to throw the “I can’t afford to exercise” excuse out the window.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Tips for paddling your first Dusi
Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people
Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may prefer to be in charge because then you can call the shots. You are not as flexible as you like to make out to be and you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.