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03 Sep 2007 13:37
Police in Soweto were firing water and rubber bullets into a crowd of more than 500 angry protesters in Protea South on Monday.
Protesters had begun barricading the main road at about 6am on Monday over poor service delivery.
They were also vandalising lamp posts and throwing stones.
A councillor who tried to intervene hid away in an armed vehicle when the violence broke out again just before 1pm.
Journalists also found themselves in the stoning line.
Tracy Lee Stark, a photographic intern at the Mail & Guardian, was hit on the head by a stone thrown by a protester while she was standing behind a police car just before 1pm.
Earlier, a photographer from Beeld was hit on the head with a stone or a brick. He was taken away from the scene in an ambulance.
The Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF) condemned the police’s “indiscriminate use of violence” against protesters.
“The APF demands that police immediately stop their continued harassment of journalists and general community members and stop the continued violation and invasion of residents’ homes,” the organisation said in a statement.
Earlier, a 44-year-old man was knocked over and killed by a bakery van in the vicinity of the protest.
The APF said the man, who was a member of the community, had been taking part in the protest when he was knocked over.
Police Captain Jacqueline Mbatha had said earlier that the situation in Protea South was calmer at about noon.
“The situation is now under control,” she said.
She said several arrests for public violence had been made. She could not immediately comment on protests and arrests in Kliptown.—Sapa
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