Violent protest breaks out in Rietgat

Protesting youths in Rietgat have allegedly destroyed a municipal bus.

File picture of violent protesters. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Hundreds of youths have destroyed a bus in Rietgat outside Pretoria during a service delivery protest.

The strike began at midnight when dozens of residents took to the streets burnt tyres and accused the ward counsellor of allegedly hiring people from outside the area.

Traffic has been interrupted in the area and police have moved in to contain the violence.

The police's Lolo Mangena says the protest is still at its peak.

"A group of about 600 to 700 youths is singing freedom songs. Earlier a bus was damaged after they smashed its windows earlier. No arrests have been made."

Several service delivery protests have been marred by violence.

In January, Sasolburg residents went on a rampage looting shops and destroying municipal property.

They were protesting over municipal demarcation.

At least three people lost their lives during the protest.

President Jacob Zuma has since condemned violent protests.

Zuma said people have a right to protests, but they should not destroy property as it is against the law.


Meanwhile, police are closely monitoring a protest at University of South Africa (Unisa) in Pretoria.

The protest was sparked by an apparent wage dispute and has brought teaching at the university to a standstill.

The police's Katlego Mogale said there were no reports of violence.

"We are monitoring the situation and we will remain at the scene until the protesters have dispersed."