Gauteng protests 'hijacked'

The team probing a rise in protests says they're often hijacked by criminals and political opportunists.

FILE: Protesters in Hebron blocked major roads with rocks and burned tyres during service delivery protests on 7 February 2014. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - A task team appointed to investigate service delivery protests in Gauteng says although most of the demonstrations are genuine, they are often hijacked by criminal elements and political opportunists.

Task team member and Gauteng Arts and Culture MEC Lebogang Maile says the team will be visiting areas recently affected by the violent demonstrations, including Enkangala, Roodepoort, Emfuleni and Bekkersdal.

Maile says the team will investigate protests on a case-by-case basis and refutes claims this is mere electioneering.

"It doesn't help to lie to people because it's on the eve of the elections. Wanting votes and lying is not going to help. We wish to be honest with our people and keep them posted and informed from time to time."

Protesters in Hebron blocked major roads with rocks and burned tyres during service delivery protests on 7 February 2014.

All pictures: Barry Bateman/EWN.