UPDATE: Violent protests continue at hotspots across SA

2017-05-10 13:32

Children's safety feared as Laudium protests flare up

2017-05-10 13:05

Protest action erupted in the Iterileng informal settlement near Laudium on Wednesday morning. Residents are said to be demanding electricity installation for their homes.WATCH

Cape Town – Protests continue unabated over parts of South Africa. There has been an escalation in violent protests over the past few weeks and angry residents have taken to the streets over a range of issues, including service delivery, housing and racial tension.

These are the current flashpoints around the country: 

Laudium, Pretoria

In brief: Ten people have been arrested after criminal elements took over during a protest at Laudium in Tshwane. Live ammunition and rubber bullets were fired earlier in the morning after residents from the Itireleng informal settlement took to the streets, blocking roads and burning tyres while demanding delivery of basic services.

More than 100 residents gathered along the R55 just after 05:00 on Wednesday morning. Members of the SA Police Service and the Tshwane metro police are monitoring the crowd from a safe distance. Some residents say they have been living in Itireleng for about eight years and are still struggling to gain access to water and electricity.

A man was seriously injured after being attacked during the protests. Although it was initially believed that he had died, it was later revealed that he is still alive.

Follow News24’s Lizeka Tandwa and Alex Mitchley who are tweeting from Laudium.

WATCH: General Tommy Mthombeni sums up protest status

Finetown, Ennerdale

In brief: While the protest action that had been sparked in Ennerdale on Tuesday had calmed down by this morning, the focal point of the violent protests had shifted to nearby Finetown. Residents in the adjoining Lenasia South had also blocked the R558 on Wednesday morning.

It remains unclear what the protests are about, but it is believed to be related to a lack of housing. Rubber bullets were used to disperse protesters in Finetown.

Residents from Eldorado Park and Freedom Park earlier protested over a lack of housing and jobs. Protest action soon spread to neighbouring Ennerdale and Orange Farm where angry residents blocked roads.

The protests in the region are ongoing.

WATCH: Tyres burned, roads blocked in Ennerdale 

Gugulethu, Cape Town

In brief: A large part of Gugulethu, Cape Town, was cordoned off with burning barricades on Wednesday in a protest over the re-zoning of land meant for a community hall, to a housing project.

The radius of the blockade includes NY78, NY3, NY100, NY5 and NY102. Community leader Mandla Leselane says the issue dates back to 1991, when people fled political violence in KTC, Nyanga, during apartheid and took refuge on a plot of land known as Section 4, which spans most of the streets named above.

As far as the original residents are concerned, they "borrowed" the land until they felt safe enough to return to KTC, or they took up the offer to resettle on land in Manenberg and Delft. However, as they left, new occupants took their places.

Residents are upset that the long-promised community hall and other shared facilities such as a library and satellite police station have not materialised. Residents did object in writing to the City of Cape Town, as required, but the objection was not successful, according to a letter dating back to April 2015.

WATCH: Gugulethu roads burn as residents protest

Coligny, North West

In brief: Coligny remains stable in the wake of violent protests that rocked the town after the death of a teenager.

Two local farm workers – Pieter Doorewaard, 26, and Philip Schutte, 34 – are facing murder charges following the death of Matlhomola Mosweu on April 20. The men claim that they had caught Mosweu, 16, stealing sunflowers and as they were driving him to the local police station in their bakkie, he jumped off and broke his neck. An eyewitness however claims he was pushed off.

Some residents claimed he was killed because he was black, which apparently triggered the protests in the area. Mosweu's death sparked further riots in the town last week.

The accused were granted bail of R5 000 on Monday, resulting in further protest violence in the area.

WATCH: Fresh violence as Coligny accused are granted bail

Read more on:    saps  |  cape town  |  pretoria  |  mahikeng  |  johannesburg  |  service delivery  |  housing  |  crime  |  protests

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