Mbalula: We’re coming for those hiding behind protests to do criminal acts

Fikile Mbalula says police will not be deterred by criminals who have used service delivery protests to break the law.

Eldorado Park residents demanded land on which to build houses during protests on 8 May 2017. Picture: Louise McAuliffe/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Fikile Mbalula says protests in Coligny, Eldorado Park and Orange Farm are no longer driven by the genuine concerns of those communities, but have now become about criminality and undermining police officers.

At least 50 people have been arrested in Eldorado Park, where shops have been looted during a protest over housing.

While in Coligny, North West Public Safety MEC Mpho Motlhabane, says community members and the State have decided to urgently appeal a court decision to grant bail to the two men accused of murdering 16-year-old Matlhomola Moshoeu.

Minister Mbalula says police will not be deterred from executing their duties by criminals who have used service delivery protests as an opportunity to break the law.

“We are coming for them in Eldorado park, those who are hiding behind the protests to do all sorts of criminal activities – we are mounting, we are coming for them.”

Mbalula, however, says the genuine concerns of community members should not be ignored.

“We will not undermine genuine concerns of the people; they must always be listened to and leaders must be seen on the ground.”

Meanwhile, Gauteng Police Commissioner Deliwe de Lange is in Eldorado Park, trying to calm the situation.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)