Businesses close as Pretoria vendors march

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pretoria vendors Independent Newspaper Limited Shops in central Pretoria closed their doors as hundreds of hawkers protested in the city centre. File photo: Masi Losi

Pretoria - Shops in central Pretoria closed their doors on Tuesday afternoon 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.

No Tshwane metro police officers were escorting the protesters.

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

“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.”

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.

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



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