Police fire rubber bullets at Port Elizabeth Spar protesters

2017-02-20 21:06

Port Elizabeth – Several protesters were injured when police used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse about 50 people picketing outside the Zonke Superspar in NU9, Motherwell, Port Elizabeth, GroundUp reported on Monday.

“The police used excessive force,” one of the protesters, Thomas Marobobo, said.

“We were very peaceful and no one even provoked them. We did not close the shop. We even allowed shoppers to go into the shop. But the police decided to use rubber bullets.”

The protest, on Friday, was against the retailer’s decision to secure its premises with a perimeter fence, which closed the path residents used to get to the taxi rank.

Marobobo said their protest started on Thursday, after negotiations with the Spar’s management yielded no results. They had asked management to leave an opening at the back so people could access other services at the centre without having to walk through a disused park.

Residents protest outside Zonke Spar in Motherwell. (Joseph Chirume, GroundUp)

“Many people have been robbed in this park since the shop closed the walkway.”

Police spokesperson Constable Mncedi Mbombo said they used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd when protesters became violent.

“They were also affecting the peace of innocent residents who wanted to buy their groceries in the shop. No one was arrested.”

Siyabulela Cikolo was hit by rubber bullets. (Thomas Marobobo, GroundUp)

Marobobo appealed to Spar management to reconsider its decision to keep the pathway closed. Local business owners should discourage crime in the area.

“We will continue engaging with Spar, even if it means a complete shutdown of the shop.”

A Zonke Spar manager, who did not want to identify himself, did not want to comment and said it was a case of public disorder.

Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  protests

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


Men.24 Model of the Week: Wendy from Cape Town

Find out more about our featured model, Wendy from Cape Town


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.