Tshwane cops flee as hawkers march

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Tshwane Metro cops

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

File picture: Oupa Mokoena

Pretoria - Tshwane metro police officers rushed to remove their vehicles on Tuesday as sjambok-wielding protesters marched in Pretoria central.

Members of the Tshwane Barekisi Forum were protesting in the city against alleged harassment and abuse by municipal police.

Hundreds of protesters, men in red Economic Freedom Fighters attire, carried sticks, sjamboks, and rubber pipes.

The metro police cars were hurriedly removed from Lilian Ngoyi (former Van Der Walt) Street and taken to Isivuno House, the municipal head office.

Only members of the SA Police Service were escorting the crowd.

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

Some in the crowd waved placards stating “Ramokgopa is a liar, the most corrupt mayor ever”, and “Ramokgopa must step down”.

Earlier in the day, shops in central Pretoria closed their doors as hundreds of hawkers protested in the city centre.

Traffic was gridlocked as hawkers sat, danced, and sang on the roads while frustrated motorists hooted in despair.

Police officers were at the scene but did nothing to stop the protesters.

Some of the protesters overturned rubbish bins as they marched along Paul Kruger Street.

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


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