Traffic in central Johannesburg came to a standstill on Thursday as thousands of South African Municipal Workers’ Union members marched through the city’s streets to the premier’s office.
Marching workers — led by three police cars — were chanting and shouting slogans condemning Ekurhuleni mayor Duma Nkosi for failing to listen to their grievances.
Many of the workers were carrying sticks and sjamboks. Some carried placards, one of which read: ”There are no foreigners, only comrades, peace and justice in our communities.”
Samwu shop steward Steven Ntuli commended Gauteng Premier Mbhazima Shilowa for responding to the union’s letter for permission to march within days of receiving it.
”There’s either a disease or a demon in Ekurhuleni … the premier must give us leaders, because there are no leaders in Ekurhuleni,” he said.
Showing solidarity with the striking workers were members of the South African National Civic Organisation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party.
On Tuesday, two striking municipal workers were wounded when Ekurhuleni metro police fired shots in Boksburg, and four people were shot with pellets by security guards in Kempton Park.
Two cases of attempted murder have since been opened. — Sapa