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EFF might be criminally charged for Randfontein violence

The Gauteng govt says it plans to lay criminal charges against the EFF for the violence in Randfontein.

Protestors in Randfontein have blockaded roads with rocks and garbage. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng government says it's in contact with its legal team and plans to lay criminal charges against the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) for the unrest in Randfontein.

On Wednesday, residents went on the rampage by looting foreign-owned shops and setting state property on fire, including local municipal offices and a library.

The Randfontein Mayor's home was also torched.

Community members are demanding housing and cheaper electricity and water tariffs.

While the EFF has condemned the violence in Mohlakeng, local government is planning a legal battle against the red berets.

Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane says the EFF must be held fully accountable for the violence.

"We are actually going to force them to take responsibility for their actions by making sure that they pay for the damages. We are in contact; our lawyers are contacting the leadership that organised the march."

But the EFF has dismissed the claims, saying it applied for a peaceful protest.

The party is blaming police for disrupting the peace, claiming officers fired rubber bullets at protestors.

A section of the municipal building still on fire.

'I AM NOT MOVING ANYWHERE'

Meanwhile, Randfontein Mayor Sylvia Thebenare says she will not be intimidated into moving out of the area after her house was set alight by disgruntled residents.

Thebenare says she is here to stay and plans to carry out her mandate as leader of the community.

"I am not moving anywhere. This is my community and it's not right that I must move out because people are threatening us. I am not going to move out."

Her son Kevin was in the house when residents set a section of it alight but he managed to escape unharmed.

The Thebenare family will be living with relatives for now, until their home has been repaired.

Mayor Sylvia Thebenare's house that was set alight on 04 February 2015.

'UP IN FLAMES'

African National Congress (ANC) stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has expressed her disappointment at South Africans for the recent violence and looting of foreign-owned shops in Gauteng townships.

Madikizela-Mandela was speaking in Randfontein on Wednesday.

Last month Soweto residents went on the rampage and looting foreign-owned shops.

The violence was sparked by the killing of 14-year-old Siphiwe Mahori who was shot dead, allegedly by a foreign business owner.

Hundreds of people were arrested and six people, including Mahori, were killed.

Madikizela-Mandela says it pains her to see what she fought for during the struggle all go up in flames.

"The most disappointing part of this whole thing is that we're supposed to be celebrating democracy. I never dreamt that I would still be using the language I used prior to 1994."

Images: Masego Rahlaga/EWN

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