Gugulethu residents slam Zuma

Locals accused the president of ignoring their plight and concentrating only on enriching himself.

Angry residents of the Gugulethu informal settlement on the East Rand hurled stones during a violent protest in the area on 5 May 2014. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - It's been a day of violent protests at the Gugulethu informal settlement, with angry residents torching an Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) tent, police firing teargas at children and more than 40 people arrested for public violence.

Residents of the East Rand township also threatened to boycott Wednesday's elections.

They say they'll continue fighting for their rights the same way former president Nelson Mandela fought for freedom in South Africa.

Service delivery protests broke out in the area on Monday morning.

Locals have criticised President Jacob Zuma for visiting the area during electioneering in 2008, but ignoring their plight now.

They say the almost R250 million spent on Nkandla could have been used to upgrade infrastructure in their community.

They have accused Zuma of ignoring their plight and concentrating only on enriching himself.

A man who refused to be recorded told Eyewitness News the fact that Zuma has a clinic inside his house and they are still without one angers them.

Residents say they are unable to enjoy the fruits of 20 years of freedom because they are still without basic services.

They are also frustrated by the high crime rate in the area and say they want the army to step in.

Police are now maintaining high visibility in the community after residents declared it a no-go area for IEC officials.

The municipality has declined to address the community's grievances, saying it will only speak to them once they've delivered a memorandum.