Heavy police contingent remains in Thembelihle

2011-09-07 07:08

A heavy police contingent remained in Thembelihle, south of Johannesburg, today after violent service delivery protests gripped the area this week.

“Police will remain here through the day, but it’s quiet for the moment with nothing going on,” said the police’s Katlego Mogale.

Both lanes on Klipspruit Valley Road had been opened this morning after residents barricaded it with burning tyres and rocks on Monday.

“The tyres and rocks have been cleared. People are using that side of the road to go to work.”

About 500 residents began protesting on Monday against poor housing, water shortages and corruption.

Residents fired live ammunition at police, a school and a councillor’s house yesterday morning. Police fired rubber bullets in return.

Protesters also damaged cars, traffic lights and electricity meters, and trampled on a 15-year-old girl as they fled from the police.

An 11-year-old boy was reportedly hit in the face by a rubber bullet, and two occupants of a Toyota Cressida were pelted with stones.

Eighteen people would appear in the Lenasia Magistrates’ Court on charges of public violence and malicious damage to property.

Housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi addressed residents yesterday on their issues and was allowed to leave peacefully.
The DA called on Mmemezi to intervene in the protests and formulate a plan to improve service delivery in the province. 

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