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Sebokeng quiet, Majakaneng protests continue

Sapa

After a protester was shot dead in Sebokeng during violent protests, demonstrations continued in Majakaneng, with residents burning a truck.

Protests have been ongoing in various areas around the country in recent weeks. (Gallo)

Sebokeng, south of Johannesburg, was quiet on Thursday morning following violent protests, Gauteng police said. "The roads have been cleared and opened for traffic," added spokesperson Captain Tsekiso Mofokeng.

Sebokeng residents blocked roads with burning tyres, stones and trees on Wednesday. Roads from Vanderbijlpark and Vereeniging were closed due to the protest.

A protester was shot dead and another was wounded during the demonstrations. Five people were arrested for public violence. An investigation into the protester's death has been launched, said Mofokeng.

Emfuleni municipality mayor Greta Hlongwane tried to address residents on Wednesday, following a meeting between protest leaders and community safety MEC Faith Mazibuko. But residents demanded Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane instead.

Protests over houses
The municipality said the protests were related to a housing development in the area, which was the Gauteng housing department's responsibility.

Violent service delivery protests have erupted in pockets of the country. A cement truck was torched as a protest flared up in Majakaneng, in the North West, on Thursday morning with residents demanding better service delivery.

"The community is angry because there is no water, no proper roads and we don't have the RDP houses we were promised," said community member Pule Rakomane by phone. "From 2005 [to] 2006 there has been no water. We have a reservoir and some water pumps in our yards but there is no water."

He said residents had resorted to buying water from neighbouring townships, alleging that municipal officials sold the water to the mines.

'We don't want any violence'
Residents had been protesting since 4am, burning tyres and blockading roads in the area, said Rakomane. A cement truck was torched by the community but there were no reports of injuries.

"The police were here but they just now went away," said Rakomane. He said the community did not want a violent protest. "We don't want any violence. We want those people [ward councillors] to come and answer to us."

North West police spokesperson Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said he would comment once he had received feedback from police officers on the ground.

Last month, four people were killed in Mothotlung, outside Brits in the North West, after residents protested violently for water. They said they had been without water for at least three months.

Mineworker Osia Rahube and a photographer known as Bra Mike were shot dead, allegedly by police. Lerato Seema died after allegedly jumping from a moving police Nyala. Police said he was trying to escape from custody. Residents claimed police brutality. Another protester later died in hospital.

569 protests in three months
On Wednesday, acting Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba said police had dealt with 569 protests in the past three months, of which 122 were violent, in the province.

A total of seven buildings had been set alight in Bronkhorstspruit this week and more than 50 people were arrested. – Sapa

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