Scuffle at Mooiplaats protest

Mooiplaats residents accused the EFF of hijacking the protest.

FILE: The Union Buildings in Pretoria. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

PRETORIA - Residents from the Mooiplaats informal settlement on Thursday handed over a list of demands to the Presidency, but not before an altercation with members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), who earlier promised a peaceful march.

Several hundred people marched through the Pretoria city centre to the Union Buildings where their list was handed over.

Locals are demanding houses, electricity and water in their area.

They rejected a plan by the City of Tshwane to relocate them to Olievenhoutbos, despite assurances they will receive basic services at the proposed site.

Mooiplaats community leader Peter Motoane says they simply want the basic services they've been promised for the last 20 years.

"We have no electricity at Mooiplaats, no water and sanitation, no community hall, no sports or entertainment facilities, no learning institution, no proper road; it means we've got nothing."

A heated exchange between residents and EFF members broke out before the memorandum was handed over.

This after demonstrators could not decide who would hand over the document.

EFF members in red berets eventually pulled back and allowed community leaders to address a representative from the Presidency.

The EFF's Umpile Modwe dismissed claims that the party tried to hijack the demonstration.

"The community of Mooiplaats is part of us, is who we are; they define us. The leadership came here to support the community who are also members of the EFF."