Atteridgeville streets cleared as anti-immigrant march heads to Pretoria Central

2017-02-24 11:33
Atteridgeville. (CICA)

Atteridgeville. (CICA)

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Johannesburg - Several streets that were blocked by protesters in Atteridgeville on Friday morning have been cleared, while a march against immigrants is set to proceed to Pretoria Central, Gauteng police said.

Atteridgeville residents were earlier blocked from going to work after protesters threw rocks and burned tyres.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said officials had cleared the road and traffic was flowing freely.

No injuries were reported or arrests made.

"Looting of a truck was reported. We are still waiting to confirm."

Tshwane metro police spokesperson Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said they had received reports of several shops being looted, but also had yet to confirm the incidents.

READ: Chaos as protest blocks Atteridgeville residents from going to work

Protesters 'confiscate' SABC equipment

SABC Morning Live anchor Leanne Manas on Friday tweeted that a news camera and other equipment had been "confiscated" by protesters in Atteridgeville.

She later tweeted that the news crew had managed to negotiate with protesters to get the equipment back.

"#Atteridgeville protestors say media portray them in a negative light & call it #xenophobia when all they want is to get rid of criminals," she tweeted.

A group calling itself the Mamelodi Concerned Residents was expected to march to the Department of Home Affairs in Pretoria on Friday to protest against immigrants in SA.

Security services said "scores of people" were expected to participate in the march.

Men carry sticks and rods

Law enforcement officers would be deployed along the route and at venues where a memorandum would be handed over, the police's National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure said in a statement on Thursday.

A News24 reporter on the ground observed groups of people scattered around the area, with many gathering at the Marabastad bus depot for the start of the march.

Public order police were seen walking behind a group of young men wielding sticks and rods. Some had their faces covered.

On Saturday, residents of Pretoria West raided homes they alleged were being used as brothels and drug dens. They called for "pimps" to release prostitutes. Two houses were set alight.

On February 11, at least 10 houses allegedly being used for drug dealing and prostitution were set alight in Rosettenville, Johannesburg.

Locals claimed Nigerians were behind the criminal activity.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  protests

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