#TshwaneUnrest: Mayor Ramokgopa calls for calm

The capital city saw a night of violence after the ANC announced Thoko Didiza as its mayoral candidate.

Police disperse a group of Atteridgeville protesters who attempted to loot a liquor store on Khoza Street. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa has called for calm in the capital city that saw a night of violence following the African National Congress (ANC)'s announcement of Thoko Didiza as their mayoral candidate for the 2016 local government elections.

Police clashed with protesters, believed to be disgruntled ANC members, in Mamelodi and Atteridgeville, where buses were torched, shops looted and streets barricaded with debris.

One person was shot dead and several wounded on Sunday at the Tshwane Events Centre where branch leaders gathered to discuss the Tshwane mayor candidacy.

Ramokgopa has urged people to refrain from resorting to violence.

"I don't think that there's any amount of grievance and displeasure that came around with the destruction of property. I want to distance myself from any action that any individual would seek to use my name."

Ramokgopa says he fully supports and endorses Didiza's mayoral candidacy.

Meanwhile, the ANC says the authorities must deal decisively with any person engaged in criminal activity.

At the same time, ANC provincial and national leadership will be meeting with branches from today, to iron out grievances over the issue.

ANC Tshwane spokesperson Tebogo Joala says, "We're taking this a step further to say we need to be in touch with our structures on the ground, at a zonal level, at the branch level, to interact with them and also explain the position that was arrived at."

The situation remains tense and one woman says she just saw a truck being set alight.

"They just overturned a truck which is in flames, and there are people actually walking around telling people to turn back home or else they are going to burn their cars. But they look pretty much young, probably in their 20s."

WATCH: Fiery protests engulf Atteridgeville


As the City of Tshwane recovers from a night of protests, residents of Atteridgeville have vowed to continue demonstrations until their issues with the proposed mayor-elect are dealt with.

Buildings were torched, vehicles damaged and roads barricaded overnight.

Residents say they don't believe the ANC's choice of Didiza as mayoral candidate over Ramokgopa, was the right one.

Rocks and rubble barricade streets and intersections in the area as residents danced and sang into the early hours of this morning.

One resident who didn't want to be named said they are not happy to be governed by Didiza.

"Rather, we the residents of Atteridgeville, elect someone from Atteridgeville. The recent mayor was from Atteridgeville and there was no reason for them to not put him back."

The resident said the community won't rest until their grievances are taken seriously.

"For every action there's a reaction and for our actions we're looking up for a reaction."

Police have meanwhile established a joint operation centre to increase police efficiency in areas affected by the protests.


The party's Zizi Kodwa said if genuine ANC members have concerns, they know how to raise them within the party structures.

"What is important is that members of the organisation must understand that the decision has been taken, and I think they must accept that decision."