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Pretoria vendors up in arms

Pretoria - Hawkers in Pretoria threatened to make the city ungovernable on Tuesday if the Tshwane metro police do not stop harassing them.

Members of the Tshwane Barekisi Forum called for the resignation of Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, alleging that he had failed them.

Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa Picture: Etienne Creux. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

“We want the president to intervene and rescue us. The metro police officers who killed Foster Rivombo, our member, are threatening us,” forum deputy secretary Mary Ngema said.

“We are harassed every day. Nothing happens if we open cases with Ipid (Independent Police Investigative Directorate). They are working together against us.”

More than 100 hawkers gathered near the Bosman station in Pretoria central, protesting against the alleged abuse.

Some of the protesters dumped rubbish bins on the street pavements.

Dan Matlanyane, a convenor at the forum, said the protest had not been sanctioned by the municipality.

“If we are going to be arrested, let it be,” said Matlanyane.

In January, the forum claimed that Rivombo, a vegetable vendor, was shot dead in the city for refusing to hand over his stock to Tshwane metro police.

Forum chairman Shoes Maloka said Foster Jan Rivombo was shot by a police officer who wanted to confiscate his stock of apples and bananas.

Comment was not immediately available from the Tshwane metro. - Sapa

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