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Four Red Ants wounded as Pikitup strike continues

A man is in custody after opening fire on Red Ant members in an alleged attack by disgruntled marchers.

Red Ants clean up the streets of Johannesburg following strike by Pikitup employees. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Red Ants have confirmed four of their employees have been shot and wounded near the Wanderers taxi rank.

The group were shot last night near a taxi rank by a group of people they believe were affiliated to The South African Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu).

The union says it's had no reports of any of its members being involved in a shooting.

The Red Ants have been cleaning up the rubbish left uncollected in the inner city, as Pikitup workers continue their strike.

The security service says teams were verbally abused by people they believe are union members last night, when one person pulled out a gun and opened fire.

The Red Ants managed to overpower the man before handing him over to police with the fire arm.

Chief Operations Officer Fuzile Balintulo says three of the victims are still in hospital, with one in the Intensive Care Unit.

"At least one was shot and wounded in the hand. He was stitched up and discharged, but the others are still in hospital. The one who was shot in the left side of his chest; we are still awaiting the progress report to hear exactly how he is recuperating."

He says while there is no proof on the identity of the man, they suspect it was a union member who shot them.

"We do suspect that this was not a random thing; otherwise why would someone come and do that? He might be someone from the unions which is disgruntled. [However], I am saying that without proof."

Meanwhile, Samwu's Papikie Mohale says Pikitup was wrong to hire the Red Ants.

"Pikitup in endangering the lives of Red Ant workers who are now collecting refuse. We want to condemn that, because in essence what Pikitup is doing is that they want to break the strike."

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