8 arrested in volatile Westbury as residents await Cele's visit

2018-10-01 22:33
Police minister Bheki Cele. (Gallo)

Police minister Bheki Cele. (Gallo)

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WATCH: Police appear to shoot into Westbury home during protest

2018-10-01 17:57

Video footage captured by News24 cameras appears to show police firing into a Westbury resident's home during protests by residents. Watch.WATCH

Police Minister Bheki Cele will visit Westbury on Tuesday after eight people were arrested in Monday's volatile protests in the suburb, where tensions between frustrated community members and the police reached a climax.

"Today we arrested eight members of the public for public violence. These are the suspects that were throwing petrol bombs at a police vehicle. One of our members was injured as well. We were able to link them to the [crime] scenes," Gauteng police commissioner Deliwe de Lange told News24 outside Sophiatown police station on Monday.

This comes after a woman and a child were shot last week when they were caught in the crossfire of a battle between drug dealers "fighting for a corner". The woman died.

As a result, the community shut down the troubled area in hopes that Cele would intervene.

Monday's events resulted in several stand-offs between the frustrated community members who threw rocks at the police, who in-turn fired rubber bullets in response.

"The issue in this community is drugs and gangsterism. Until we see stability in our community, we are not going to be happy. We will give the process some time so that it can take place," community policing forum (CPF) member Tilly Micheals told the media after a meeting with De Lange and ANC secretary general Ace Magashule.

"It hurts the spirit when you see a mother in broad daylight lying [dead] next to a child. That is the hurt and anger you saw on the streets today. We are not being listened to. Why do we have to fight in order to get a national response?" Michaels added.


'ANC is not welcome here' – protesters

Magashule on Monday visited the community's CPF at the Sophiatown police station but had to be whisked away following the meeting after angry community members caught wind of news that the ruling party was in the area.

Magashule, who was allegedly expected to visit the families that lost loved ones after the meeting at the police station, did not make it into the community.

"We just came to the community to say we are with you, we know the challenges that you are facing. We will see the families tomorrow. The leaders must first talk to the community and when things cool down, let us do what is necessary," Magashule said outside the police station.

As Magashule left the police station several community members rushed to his vehicle and told him "the ANC is not welcome here".

Protests appeared to simmer down by late Monday afternoon, but Micheals could not confirm whether they would continue on Tuesday.

"We are going to report back to the community that let us try and hold back a few hours so that leaders who have made promises can deliver on their commitments," Micheals concluded.

Read more on:    bheki cele  |  johannesburg  |  protests

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