Police confirm 2 deaths after Tshwane protests
Unrest has gripped Tshwane as residents protest against the ANC’s choice of mayoral candidate.
PRETORIA - Police have confirmed two people were killed in Mamelodi last night in violence linked to the recent unrest which has gripped Tshwane.
Police have been deployed in large numbers to various parts the municipal area, including Atteridgeville, Hammanskraal and Soshanguve.
Buses have been torched, shops looted and roads barricaded during protests that arose after the weekend announcement that Thoko Didiza had been named as the African National Congress' (ANC) mayoral candidate for the metro.
While more details have not been provided, the police say two people were killed in looting-related violence in Mamelodi.
The police say they arrested more than 40 people in operations overnight.
Those arrested have been charged with public violence, theft and possession of stolen property.
Meanwhile, the Denlyn Mall in Mamelodi remains closed to prevent looting, while police respond to sporadic incidents elsewhere in the area.
LOOTING IN GARANKUWA AND MABOPANE
Police in Garankuwa and Mabopane say they have been responding to various reports of looting.
Foreign shop owners in Mabopane say they fear for their lives following sporadic looting of foreign-owned shops in the area.
The shop owners say they don't understand why they are being targeted.
Many shops around this area have been looted and in some cases, shop owners attacked.
This shop owner is clearing his stock and leaving the area, escorted by the police.
"I was trying to protect my shop and myself but they were throwing stones [in my direction]."
ANCWL SUPPORTS THOKO DIDIZA
As police keep a watchful eye on businesses in Mamelodi and continue to respond to reports of sporadic looting elsewhere in Tshwane, the African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) says it fully supports Didiza.
The league has called on all South Africans to rally behind all women who are appointed to top positions.
It held a briefing at the ANC's headquarters at Luthuli House in Braamfontein this afternoon.
The ANCWL has come out in full support of Didiza after her appointment in Tshwane sparked outrage.
The league's president Bathabile Dlamini said, "We have women in South Africa who have shown commitment to the people of the South Africa."
Dlamini says Didiza is a tried and tested member of the ANC and is more than capable of leading the people of Tshwane.
"Comrade Thoko rose within the ranks of the movement."
The women's league says its main objective is to have a women as ANC president.
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RUBBER BULLETS FIRED
Earlier, police fired rubber bullets at community members at the Melusi informal settlement near Atteridgeville, who tried to set a vehicle alight.
Residents have now suspended their protest pending a visit by the mayor's office.
Tempers were high here at the Malusi informal settlement a short while ago.
Protestors say they are unhappy over the poor state of service delivery they receive, adding that they don't believe Didiza will make things better.
Community members are also demanding clarity on government's plans for the area, saying promises were made in December that have not been fulfilled.
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ANC MEETING POSTPONED
Meanwhile, a meeting scheduled to take place between Gauteng ANC and Tshwane branch leaders has been postponed.
Yesterday, leaders of the ruling party visited Atteridgeville, Hammanskraal and Mamelodi promising community members they would take their concerns to the party's Secretary General Gwede Mantashe.
Mayor Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, Gauteng ANC leader Paul Mashatile and ANC NEC member Aaron Motsoaledi met with the community of Atteridgeville yesterday in an attempt to quell tensions in the area.
Motsoaledi assured the community the party had heard their concerns and would take them to leaders of the ANC and give feedback to branch leaders today.
But now the meeting has been postponed.
ANC Tshwane regional executive committee member Lesego Makhubela says no explanation has been given as to why the meeting was postponed.
"I think the leadership is still sorting out some of the things and giving space to law enforcement agency to try and deal with things."
Earlier residents said they were looking forward to this meeting, they said the outcome would determine their next step.