Tear gas and stun grenades thrown at protesting Hammanskraal residents

2018-04-18 14:23

Protesting residents in Hammanskraal, in the north of Pretoria, clashed with police on Wednesday morning, and demanded that Gauteng Premier David Makhura listen to their pleas for service delivery. 

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The protesters blocked the N1 highway and several roads around Kekana Gardens in Hammanskraal, demanding access to housing, water, sanitation and better roads. 

They were eventually pushed back from the highway as police opened fire, using rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the crowd. 

Protesters retaliated by throwing rocks at police. 

A police helicopter and the Public Order Police Unit were deployed to monitor the crowd of about 300 people.

Police are using the chopper and rubber bullets to push protesters back.


Threats to continue protests

Protesters have threatened to continue until their demands are met.

"We will go back to [the] N1. Now we are waiting for the premier to respond. If he [does] not [respond], we will go back to [the] N1," one protester said.

"We will never rest, we will close the N1," another protester added. 

"We voted for Makhura, so we want him here. He must address us." 

Residents complained that, while townships such as Olievenhoutbosch, Mamelodi and Atteridgeville were attended to, interest was only shown in Hammanskraal when elections were around the corner and campaigning for votes took place. 

A community leader, who called himself Bull, said they had delivered memorandums to the Tshwane municipality and the Gauteng housing department, but never received any response. 

"They are doing nothing. No emails, no nothing. They are not serious about us." 

The situation remains tense as police have begun to clear roads.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  traffic  |  protest action

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