Residents in Itereleng informal settlement in Laudium, Pretoria burned tyres on Wednesday morning.
PRETORIA - Ten people were arrested on public violence charges after residents of the Itelereng informal settlement, near Laudium in Pretoria, went on rampage demanding electricity, housing and water, Tshwane West police cluster commander, Maj-General Daniel Mthombeni said on Wednesday, warning protesters to desist from violence.
“Tshwane MMC for housing Mandla Nkomo came and addressed the protesters. Their grievances include lack of water, electricity and housing which was allegedly promised from 2008. From there, they dispersed from the R55 then they went into the CBD of Laudium, they also went into the residential areas and started throwing around dustbins … they ran amok,” Mthombeni addressed journalists at the Laudium Police Station.
“They started burning dust bins and whatever material. The p olice responded and out of that response we managed to arrest at least 10 people for public violence and malicious damage to property. When we drove around, we found that there are some water meters that have been damaged, the water is running and I hope the city [Tshwane] will take care of that.”
Mthombeni disputed earlier reports that a man had been killed during the protests. He said the man had collapsed and health practitioners at Kalafong Hospital have not found visible injuries and the man remains in in a critical condition.
Mthombeni also said there has not been looting of businesses.
Laudium resident and anti-crime activist Yusuf Abramjee said the violence started at around 3am on Wednesday.
“As it escalated, they marched from Itereleng to the R55. They blockaded the road, causing some traffic congestion. The police led by General Mthombeni then deployed a number of units. There were negotiations but they refused to disperse. MMC Nkomo addressed the protesters and a memorandum was handed,” said Abramjee.
He said the crowd ran amok when it was being escorted from the R55 through the streets of Laudium.
“We appeal to the community not to take the law into their own hands. We appeal to them to remain calm. The police have the situation under control. We have been assured that the [police] visibility will continue,” said Abramjee.
On Wednesday afternoon, several motorists were negotiating their way through streets heavily littered with large boulders and rubbish from dustbins strewn on the road. Some of the tyres were still shouldering.