Violent protests inexcusable - ANC

2012-03-22 17:30
Johannesburg - The ANC in Gauteng has condemned violent protests in Ratanda, Sharpeville and Evaton.

"The torching of government buildings and houses under the disguise of service delivery is wrong and borders on act of criminality," it said on Thursday.

"Any violent conduct to highlight grievances is unacceptable and inexcusable."

The fact that the violence took place on Human Rights Day boded ill for democracy, it said.


The ANC called on police to arrest the perpetrators. It also called on protesters to exercise restraint and to be patient while the government tried to meet their demands.

"People have the legal right to protest without using violence. The protest should not be detrimental to rights of other citizens," it said.

"The violent conduct of protesters is not only wrong, but undermines our determined efforts to work to improve the lives of ordinary people in the affected areas."

In Ratanda, near Heidelberg, at least 80 people have been arrested for civil unrest and looting since the start of the protests on Monday. Several homes have been torched.

Protests in Evaton, south of Johannesburg, were apparently sparked by rumours that a local church was satanic. Supermarkets and businesses in the area were looted.

In Sharpeville, 70 people were arrested for housebreaking and theft during protests.

Police said the situation in all three areas was quiet on Thursday morning.

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