Tshwane unrest continues: Atteridgeville residents threaten to vote DA

One of the vehicles residents from Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria, set alight. (Mujahid Safodien, AFP)

One of the vehicles residents from Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria, set alight. (Mujahid Safodien, AFP)

Residents of Atteridgeville say if the incumbent mayor Kgosientso “Sputla” Ramokgopa is replaced, they will vote for the DA.

“No Sputla, no vote,” residents chanted. “If they remove Sputla then we will take our votes to the DA.

“The ANC knows the DA is a threat and we will give our votes to them. We want Sputla.”

Residents of Atteridgeville have been on the rampage since Monday night following  the announcement of Thoko Didiza as the mayoral candidate for the city.

Residents referenced the Freedom Charter and said they felt like the party was taking them for granted.

“They said the people will govern [in the Charter] but now they are governing us and that is very wrong.
They are where they are because of us,” said another protester.

She said they had come a long way with the party and wanted to be listened to.

‘This is not Natal, this is Atteridgeville’
“Today they are sitting there in their comfortable chairs and empires while we are sitting in RDP houses. Sputla is helping us with everything and now they want to take him away from us. We say down with Didiza and forward with Sputla,” she said.

Another protester said they did not want another Nkandla, referring to Didiza’s KwaZulu-Natal roots, and that she must be taken back.

“They must take that Nkandla to Natal. This is not Natal, this is Atteridgeville. This is Pedi, we are not going to allow anyone from outside to come to our city. Didiza doesn’t know us, she doesn’t even know our street names,” he said.

Another Atteridgeville resident said if the ANC did not remove Didiza as a mayoral candidate, the DA will win the city hands down.

“If the ANC thinks we are going to vote for them then they must forget it. The people said Sputla or no vote. The DA will win with a walkover,” resident Kyle Mogale.

“That is the revenge the people of Atteridgeville want to bring to them. That is the anger that is boiling.”

Mogale said if the ANC wanted to appoint someone else, they should rather go for a Tshwane native who understands the language and history of the place.

“We don’t want any person who is not from Tshwane. We don’t want Thoko Didiza,” he said.

Tshwane protests grind emergency services to a halt
The Gauteng department of health on Tuesday said some of its vehicles had been attacked in Tshwane.

In some instances the ambulance service was unable to access patients.

“We have noted with concern that roads are blocked in many areas around Tshwane metro and access denied to emergency services, which is not only endangering EMS personnel lives, but that of patients as well,” said health department spokesperson Steve Mabona.

“Regrettable incidents of stoning of emergency vehicles in the early hours of the morning in Hammanskraal have also been reported.”

At least 21 buses were torched overnight in Mamelodi. In Atteridgeville two trucks and a bus were set alight on Tuesday. Shops were also looted. The violent protests continued in GaRankuwa and Hammanskraal.

Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu pleaded with protesters to allow emergency vehicles and personnel into the townships.

“We plead with communities to refrain from attacking EMS vehicles and appreciate the effect this has on service delivery and people’s lives. We also discourage the burning of clinics or hampering of services.” –  News24 and African News Agency

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