WATCH: Protesters shut down Krugersdorp in bloody protest

2018-01-22 19:29
Building suspected of being drug dens were torched and stoned. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

Building suspected of being drug dens were torched and stoned. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

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Johannesburg – Townships in Mogale City and the Krugersdorp central business district (CBD) were effectively shut down on Monday as thousands of protesters clashed with police.

Residents from several townships in Mogale City marched on the Krugersdorp CBD in protest against drugs and human trafficking.

Protesters torched several buildings suspected of being drug dens and looted shops and taverns in the CBD.

As police pushed protesters out of the CBD, violence flared up in neighbouring communities. 

Around 3 000 protesters clashed with police in Munsieville. Thousands of rubber bullets were fired by police along with tear gas and stun grenades in an attempt to disperse the crowd.

Protesters retaliated by throwing stones and petrol bombs at police, using mattresses and corrugated iron sheets as shields.

Protesters arrested

The standoff in Munsieville lasted for a number of hours as protesters and police kept pushing each other back. 

Several protesters were arrested in the process. 

Munsieville residents blamed foreign nationals for the prevalence of drugs in the area and demanded that they leave Mogale City. 

Protesters have also given the municipality an ultimatum to shut down all suspected drug dens by 17:00 on Monday. They also said that all those living in the buildings should be documented and vetted. 

Violence flared up again in the Krugersdorp CBD on Monday afternoon as hundreds of protesters re-entered the CBD and resumed clashes with police. 

Police arrest a member of the community during the protest. (Alex Mitchley, News24) 

 

All shops in the area had been closed and shotgun shells, stones, rubble and tear gas canisters littered several streets where clashes took place.

 

Intermittent clashes

Police again used tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse protesters who dodged between buildings as they lobbed stones back at police. 

Some protesters even scaled the rooftops of buildings to hurl stones at officers. Others picked up tear gas canisters and threw them back at police. 

Another smoldering building that was targeted by protesters. (Alex Mitchley, News24) 

 

Ward 24 Munsieville councillor Norman Sedumedi said the protests were sparked by the kidnapping of a young woman from Kagiso. 

"The community suspected that she was going to be used for drug peddling."

Sedumedi said the young woman has since been returned to her family. 

The situation is still tense in the CBD with intermittent clashes between smaller groups of protesters and police.

Violence had apparently also flared up in Kagiso, with the police station allegedly being attacked. Police, however, had yet to confirm this by the time of publishing.

Read more on:    mogale city  |  johannesburg  |  protest

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