Pretoria – The Democratic Alliance has accused the ANC of failing to take responsibility for the Tshwane violence.
"It is shameful that the ANC leadership, and President Jacob Zuma in particular, have still not taken responsibility for the violence," said DA mayoral candidate for Tshwane Solly Msimanga at his introduction on Thursday afternoon
Violent protests broke out in townships across the city on Monday when the ruling party announced that former public works minister Thoko Didiza was its mayoral candidate for Tshwane.
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Msimanga said Didiza has shown no leadership in the crisis and has chosen to "remain in hiding" while the city burnt.
"The DA condemns the ANC’s inaction in no uncertain terms. We cannot allow the ANC to distance themselves from the situation, or dismiss it as 'thuggery' or spontaneous criminality. It is not. It is the concerted effort by a faction within the ANC to destabilise the city."
Earlier on Thursday, Didiza and 11 other mayoral candidates arrived at the ANC’s Gauteng headquarters near Zoo Lake in Johannesburg for an introductory press conference.
Gauteng ANC chairperson Paul Mashatile said Didiza was "not fazed" by criticism over her nomination, as well as the violence that erupted in various areas in the Tshwane metro following the announcement.
So far, the death toll has risen to five since clashes broke out in townships across the city on Sunday evening.
Two people were shot dead during looting in Mamelodi between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
On Sunday night, an ANC member was shot dead outside the Tshwane Events Centre, formerly known as the Pretoria Showgrounds, as the party was set to announce Didiza as mayoral candidate for the city.
Numerous businesses in the city have been looted and damaged, and at least 19 buses burnt.
- Find everything you need to know about the 2016 Local Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections, or download the app for iOS and Android.