Fresh protests erupt in Johannesburg CBD

The demonstrations started after Inkatha Freedom Party founder Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi was shunned at a meeting aimed at quelling tensions in Jules Street.

Several shops were looted and set alight in Malvern on 1 September 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Fresh protests have erupted in the Johannesburg CBD on Sunday.

Minister Bheki Cele was meant to meet with the community at a planned imbizo but he has since postponed his visit.

Johannesburg community leaders said they are giving President Cyril Ramaphosa and Cele 24 hours to address their grievances on undocumented illegal foreigners.

The crowds walked off as Inkatha Freedom Party founder and former leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi tried to address them.

Buthelezi started by saying he was in Jules Park to speak as an elder not a political leader, but the angry residents were having none of it.

Buthelezi pleaded with the residents not to paint all foreigners with the same brush, saying there were already reprisals in other countries.

Taking turns to address the crowd the leaders and elders from various regions said unemployment and crime perpetrated by foreign nationals were their top grievances.

The leaders said they were giving the president and the minister of police 24 hours to respond to their grievances.

Cele has appealed to communities to continue to respect the rule of law.

Police officers have been deployed in areas affected by the protests.

People have been urged to avoid the area around the MTN Taxi Rank and surrounds where shops were being looted.

The police's Mathapelo peters said: ā€œIncidents of attacks on businesses have since been reported in parts of the CBD were police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets to restrain the growing crowd who attempted to move through the CBD. Many shops are currently closed as police are on high alert to ensure minimum damages and criminality.ā€