Pretoria - The SA Police Service was the “third force” behind the hawkers' protests in Pretoria CBD, Tshwane informal traders said on Tuesday.
“The SAPS are the third force, they were working with members of Tshwane Barekisi Forum harassing our traders,” Tshwane National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc) president Vincent Matjeng said.
Representatives of four different informal traders organisations held a joint press briefing in Pretoria on Tuesday.
Matjeng said members of informal traders organisation Tshwane Barekisi Forum made death threats against him.
“Barekisi Forum members made death threats against me... We are going to protect what is ours, you will see violence, trader against trader,” said Matjeng.
“My surname means stone, when you throw me into the river I create waves.”
Several business closed in Pretoria last week as protesting hawkers wielding sjamboks and sticks marched in the city.
The protesting traders also wanted metro police to act against an officer they accused of shooting dead one of their colleagues in January.
The forum alleged that Foster Jan Rivombo, a vegetable seller, was shot dead for refusing to hand his stock over to Tshwane metro police.
Tshwane Barekisi Forum chairman Shoes Maloka told Sapa the four informal traders organisations were pushing the mayor's agenda in return for jobs.
“They are pushing the mayor's agenda, the mayor rewards them with jobs, we are not a violent organisation, we are fighting for hawkers' rights,” said Maloka.
He said they were planning to protest again next month.
Efforts to get comment from Pretoria central police station spokeswoman Sergeant Anne Poortman were unsuccessful.