We did not use live ammo, say police

2011-09-07 14:50

Johannesburg - Live ammunition was not used to subdue protesting residents at Thembelihle, south of Johannesburg, Gauteng police said on Wednesday.

"I repeat, we did not use live ammunition," Lieutenant Colonel Katlego Mogale said.

She was responding to media reports that a protester was hospitalised on Tuesday evening after being shot by police.

Mogale said Thembelihle remained calm early Wednesday afternoon.

ANC Gauteng secretary David Makhura said allegations the ruling party had failed to deliver on promises of housing in Thembelihle were untrue, as 6 000 units had been built there.

"Some service delivery protests are not about service delivery."

Blatant acts of criminality

He was speaking in Johannesburg about violence that erupted when supporters of ANC Youth League president Julius Malema clashed with police and journalists outside ANC headquarters last Tuesday.

Blatant acts of criminality often undermined the genuine concerns raised by people on real issues, Makhura said. Violent protests were "completely intolerable and inexcusable" in a democratic society.

"These protests are often characterised by destruction of community facilities, attacks on councillors, blocking of roads and large scale disruption of schools."

He called on law enforcement to bring the perpetrators of such violence to book. High rates of unemployment, increasing urban poverty, the high costs of food and electricity, as well as social crimes affecting women and children were common themes of such protests, Makhura said. Eroding township economies were also of concern.


He said the absence of the ANC in community struggles was a weakness of the party.

Damage totalling R1.5m was caused during this week's service delivery protests in Thembelihle, according to city officials. They said protesting residents set fire to three load centres, depriving most of Lenasia Extensions Nine to 11 of power from Monday night to 03:00 on Wednesday.

This emerged from a joint statement by Roslyn Greef of the mayoral council and City Power acting managing director Sicelo Xulu.

A third of the area was still without power on Wednesday morning, but City Power said all these areas would be reconnected by the end of the day.

Public lighting

Public lighting had been installed in Thembelihle to improve security in the area, but this infrastructure had been damaged by illegal connections. City Power would remove the illegal connections, but maintain the public lighting.

"Whilst we remain committed to supplying electricity to all residents of this city, we are however not in the position to do any electricity installations in Thembelihle until the area is officially proclaimed a human settlement," said Greef and Xulu.

City Power had opened a case of damage to property at the Lenasia police station over the fire. It said Thembelihle residents should take responsibility for the public lighting and protect it from those who stole cables and made illegal electricity connections.

March planned

Residents of the informal settlement planned to march on Wednesday in support of those arrested during the protests, police spokesperson Captain Mbulaheni Netshivhodza said.

"We have received information that they are planning to march, but at this stage we don't know where they will hold the demonstration."

He said a heavy police contingent was present at the township and the situation was under control.

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


Eighteen people were arrested in connection with public violence and malicious damage to property during the protests against poor housing, water shortages and corruption.

On Tuesday morning, residents fired live ammunition at police, a school and a councillor's house. 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 ran from the police. Two occupants of a Toyota Cressida were pelted with stones.

Tebogo Tshwala, 11, who was hit in the face by a rubber bullet on Monday, was discharged from Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital on Tuesday, according to a report in the Sowetan.

  • The Stig - 2011-09-07 15:05

    why the phuk not?

  • 123online123 - 2011-09-07 15:06

    Why not?

  • Tokkel Loshi - 2011-09-07 15:06

    WHY NOT ?

  • Tokkel Loshi - 2011-09-07 15:06

    First article we all agree on , WHAHAHA

      Theresa - 2011-09-07 15:12

      Uncanny isn't it?

      IC1 - 2011-09-07 16:04

      Unbelievable that

  • Ederik - 2011-09-07 15:13

    They should have!

  • farmworker - 2011-09-07 15:14

    Good, you guys follow me on twitter @

  • BakkieB - 2011-09-07 15:20

    "We did not use live ammo, say police" Mistake Number1

  • BakkieB - 2011-09-07 15:22

    LOL see South Africans can agree

  • Bemused - 2011-09-07 15:23

    Brilliant idea to destroy the load centres that supply power because you don't have power. Sound confusing? The logic of the protestors escape me!! Damage what you have because you dont have enough...go figure!

      leroy john - 2011-09-07 15:32

      @ bemused, true dat!

      Theresa - 2011-09-07 15:36

      As I understand it they have no right to elecricity."Whilst we remain committed to supplying electricity to all residents of the city,we are however not in the position to do any electrical installations in Thembelihle until the area is officially proclaimed a human settlement".Which means they're illegal squatters.Please correct me if I'm wrong.

  • willieman - 2011-09-07 15:23

    Ja mense,the circus goes on, on this blog

  • Verbatim - 2011-09-07 15:31

    FFFFUUUUU---WHy you no use live ammo???

  • Queen_Elizabeth - 2011-09-07 15:33

    okay, so maybe not live ammo, but these people to to go to jail AND STAY THERE and do some community service until their debt is repaid to society!

      Enigma - 2011-09-07 15:55

      Queen darling this not England yeah, in South Africa we fight fire with fire and not water yeah mate.

  • Fedup - 2011-09-07 15:36

    There is a shooting range near me, should I ask for some live ammo for u?

  • Beannie - 2011-09-07 15:37

    Don't care, you cannot go around using live ammo. I am glad the police didn't use it because it would have given these poor bastards another thing to jump on the band wagon about. But, ... if they do use live ammo then the police have every right to retaliate to protect themselves, stun grenades and tear gas are usually pretty effective. Please let us try and stop all of this stupid and useless bloodshed and destruction in a sensible way. The people who should be targeted are the bloody politicians that made the promises in the first place. Bring those f*c*e*s to book. Let us just hope that next time these guys vote it is for a different party. Everyone has the right to clean water, sanitation, power and decent roads. The fat cats must stop stuffing their own back pockets. The money for all of the above gets spent on expensive dinners in larny restaurants in Sandton.

      Dazbo - 2011-09-07 15:51

      Agree 100%.... Unfortunately, if you think back, there were many similar protests prior to the previous election...most of which caused some form of destruction and, in some cases, death !! The people who were part of those protests still voted for the ANC....go figure !!! Zimbabweans have been starving to death for decades and still they vote for the despot Mugabe. No matter how many times you point out the obvious or apply some logical reasoning they only see colour and will vote on that premise.

      Tokkel Loshi - 2011-09-07 15:54

      You forgot to add the 300 K a month body gaurds they have that we pay for

  • SA Sucks - 2011-09-07 15:37

    Why the f@@k not?

      Beannie - 2011-09-07 15:42

      Why not what, rip off the cash or build the infrastructure? Or do you mean use live ammo. Little more clarity SA Sucks.

  • lollie sue - 2011-09-07 15:44

    Lol, you people are unbelievable

      Tokkel Loshi - 2011-09-07 16:26

      You must go to a ANCYL gathering if you want to see unbelievable !!

  • Anonymus - 2011-09-07 15:46

    time to lock and load!

  • Ang - 2011-09-07 15:52

    Missed opportunity not using live ammo, only thing that'll stop these criminals destroying our communities!!

  • IC1 - 2011-09-07 16:01

    Damn pity about that, they were shot at with live ammo, they should at least have repaid the compliment.

  • Rob Gunning - 2011-09-07 16:04

    It's pretty obvious that regadless of colour or creed, not one person supports a violent protestor (other than the family and friends of those that have been arrested). Gives me some hope.

  • - 2011-09-07 16:14

    Why not?

  • psydomx - 2011-09-07 16:15

    appeasement never ever has a happy ending , as for the kid, he shouldnt have been there.

      Buzzbar - 2011-09-07 16:47

      Correct. Why wasn't he in school?

  • Flynn - 2011-09-07 16:29

    Please let bow our heads in prayer for these idiotic fools because I cannot imagine what the next generation is going to do if we still have a SA. These people are as dumb as two bricks

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