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WATCH: Metro police fire rubber bullets, teargas at former Ekurhuleni municipal workers

27 September, 09:24 PM

Sumeya Gasa, News24

Protesting former Ekurhuleni municipal workers were met with a barrage of insults, rubber bullets and teargas when they marched to the Germiston Civic Centre on Thursday.

About 300 former Ekurhuleni contractors from various City departments marched from the local bus station to the civic centre. They demanded permanent employment.

After several months of meetings and negotiations between the City and the former contractors, workers marched to the civic centre singing and holding placards that read: "Corruption must fall" and "We want our jobs back".

A rabble of Ekurhuleni metro police met them and opened fire as the mass approached the City precinct, which had been cordoned off. Barbed wire was put up at all entrance points.

The crowd quickly dispersed and several protesters were injured. The crowd regrouped outside the civic centre before Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) officers opened fire again.

Some of the injured protesters received first aid from the City's ambulance workers.

Shortly after midday, members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) who were attending a council meeting at the civic centre, addressed the crowd and said they too, as council members, were assaulted by EMPD officers after demanding that the City council address the crowd.

"We were assaulted inside [the municipal building]," said EFF Ekurhuleni secretary, Sipho Watkins. "We were assaulted for standing up for you."

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