Thembelihle protests continue after address by housing official

Residents of Thembelihle, south of Johannesburg, continued a service delivery protest on Tuesday after they were addressed by housing official Humphrey Mmemezi.

Police said residents told the provincial minister they were protesting against poor housing, water shortages and corruption.

Protesters in the township of Thembelihle near Lenasia took to the streets this week in an increasingly violent display of residents’ grievances over inadequate housing and access to water.

“They let [Mmemezi] leave peacefully after the meeting, but the roads are still barricaded and some of them are still burning tyres,” spokesperson Captain Hector Netshivhodza said.

“Police are monitoring the situation. There were no casualties or arrests today.”

On Tuesday, the Democratic Alliance called on Mmemezi to intervene in the protests and formulate a plan to improve service delivery in the province.

Residents fired live ammunition at police, a school and a councillor’s house on Tuesday morning. Police fired rubber bullets in return.

About 500 residents protested on Monday by barricading roads with stones and burning tyres.

They damaged cars, traffic lights and an electricity substation, and trampled on a 15-year-old girl as they fled from the police.

An 11-year-old boy was reportedly hit in the face by a rubber bullet, and two occupants of a Toyota Cressida were pelted with stones.

Eighteen people are set to appear in the Lenasia Magistrate’s Court on charges of public violence and malicious damage to property. — Sapa

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