'Before we were not white enough, now we are not black enough' - Ennerdale residents

2018-10-05 15:22
Ennerdale protest. (File)

Ennerdale protest. (File)

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WATCH: Police hunt for hijackers after woman attacked at petrol station in Ennerdale

2018-09-14 17:13

Police are in search of three men who attempted to hijack a woman at a petrol station on Tuesday. Watch.WATCH

Ennerdale in Johannesburg is the latest community to join in the national shutdown, which aims to protest the alleged social and economic marginalisation of coloured people in South Africa's post-apartheid era.

"Ennerdale is the only community with a shutdown that is not violent. We made a promise that we are going to keep this protest as peaceful as possible and our message is loud and clear: We will be heard by government," community leader Ronel Andrews told News24.

Protests in Westbury turned violent after a woman and a child were shot last week when they were caught in the crossfire between drug dealers "fighting for a corner". The woman died.

On Monday, eight people were arrested during violent protests in that suburb. Police fired rubber bullets at protesters. A task team has since been assigned to the area. 

Ennerdale residents took to the streets in the early hours of Friday morning to protest against the lack of development in their area. Some carried signs reading: "Before we were not white enough, now we are not black enough."

"Twenty-five years ago, we voted for a government for the people. [That] government disappeared in Ennerdale after that. Now there is no development. When we were voting, we were black enough, but today we are not included and that is why this statement has been made," said ward councillor Danny Netnow.

"[Police Minister] Bheki Cele really undermines us as coloureds. I am not a racist person, but I think his comments toward coloureds are not fair. He thinks what we are doing right now is tantrums. For a man in power, you do not make such accusations," Andrews said.

"The issues in Ennerdale are no different to that of Westbury. The issues remain the same: Drugs, gangsterism and lack of development," Netnow said.

Ennerdale residents, like those in Westbury, allege that police are colluding with the feared drug lords in the area.

Reported cases

South African Police Service spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele said police could only act if these cases were reported.

"If they have complaints, they can report it to the police station. If they are not satisfied with these services, they can go to the station commander. Those who are found to be colluding with criminals will be dealt with," Makhubele said.

Makhubele confirmed that Friday's demonstration had been peaceful and that the police's role there was merely to maintain law and order.

"Today's protests have not been violent and, from the police side, our job is to maintain law and order. We are calling on the community to engage with the local authority on their grievances," Makhubele said.

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