Five shot with rubber bullets in Reiger Park protest

2017-03-09 09:12

Johannesburg - Five people were injured after police used rubber bullets to disperse a violent crowd in Reiger Park, east of Johannesburg on Thursday morning, Ekurhuleni Metro Police said.

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“If there are people injured, you must know the situation is tense but under control,” EMPD spokesperson Kobeli Mokheseng said.

The injured were transported to the Tambo Memorial Hospital in Boksburg.

Mokheseng said protesters tried to set a councillor's house alight.

Earlier, protesters barricaded the roads and vowed to bring the area to a complete lockdown.

Residents took to the streets at 02:00 on Thursday morning, saying foreign nationals were being allocated RDP houses while locals are still living in shacks.

Mokheseng said no arrests had been made.

Housing irregularities

Gauteng Human Settlements Department head Matilda Gasela said they had noted with concern that the protests were about alleged housing irregularities.

"In response to this, we will assign senior officials of the department to meet with the protesting community to hear their reasons for the protest," Gasela said.

"The policy that regulates allocation of houses and human settlements units to communities only allocates these to South African citizens and not foreign nationals."

She said residents should let the department know if beneficiaries are selling their houses to foreign nationals.

"We know that some beneficiaries do this. Where our people have knowledge of corruption, they must give us evidence so that we deal with the issue," Gasela said.

"The department is committed to resolve issues related to corruption around allocation of houses. Where there has been evidence of wrongdoing, we have dealt with the issues.

"Our laws mandate us to allocate houses to South African citizens and not foreign nationals."

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  protests  |  housing  |  service delivery

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