Council condemns East Rand protest

2012-07-09 19:03

Johannesburg - The Ekurhuleni municipality has condemned acts of vandalism by protesters in Windmill Park, Boksburg, on Monday.

"While we do respect the right to protest, we strongly condemn the act of vandalism that characterised the protest which saw the damaging of robots, street lights and municipal property," municipal spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said in a statement.

Holomisa informal settlement residents barricaded roads with rocks and burning tyres on Monday morning.

Metro police spokesman Inspector Khobeli Mokheseng said the protesters stoned a metro police vehicle and attacked the first two metro police officers to arrive at the scene.

"When one of the officers got out of the vehicle to try and talk sense to them, one of them stole the car keys from the ignition," he said.

The man fled with the keys. The rest of the protesters hurled stones at the vehicle. An officer suffered slight injuries to his hand.

Forty-nine people were arrested for public violence, malicious damage to property and assault. They were being held at the Dawn Park police station and were expected to appear soon in the Boksburg Magistrate's Court.

The municipality said it was trying to contact community leaders to hear their concerns.

Barry Marais and Trichardt roads were closed to traffic.