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Soweto shutdown: JMPD warns against lawlessness as residents march to Mayor Mpho Phalatse’s office

The Joburg Metro Police Department has warned residents against breaking the law as thousands are set to march to Mayor Mpho Phalatse’s office. Picture: Chris Collingridge

The Joburg Metro Police Department has warned residents against breaking the law as thousands are set to march to Mayor Mpho Phalatse’s office. Picture: Chris Collingridge

Published Jun 21, 2022

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Pretoria – The Joburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) said it has deployed officers to monitor protests as some Soweto community members are marching to the office of Mayor Mpho Phalatse.

The disgruntled residents have been protesting about lack of electricity in their areas. Several streets were blocked and some residents were burning tyres.

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JMPD spokesperson Xolani Fihla said residents of Pimville and Klipspruit in Soweto have applied for, and were granted permission to march to the mayor’s office, where they will hand over a memorandum.

“That march was approved and it is happening today. What we know is that the participants will be gathering at Maponya Mall, I think at around 9am where they will be transported to Parktown at Peter Rose Park where they will gather again and march to Metro Centre in Braamfontein. I know some roads will be affected especially around the Braamfontein area, and one of the main roads is Empire Road, Joubert Street, De Korte and Civic Boulevard,” Fihla spoke to broadcaster Newzroom Afrika.

“We do have police contingency which is on the ground at this present moment, just monitoring. As the march starts, officers will monitor the march and we will be able to control and divert traffic.”

Fihla said on Monday, most roads in Soweto were closed off due to the protests.

He said on Tuesday morning, some roads in Soweto were riddled with rocks and burning tyres.

“We can’t necessarily confirm that it is connected to this march and the shutdown that happened yesterday but we can’t rule that out,” Fihla said.

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He said the organisers of the march today have indicated that around 2 000 residents will be taking to the streets.

“That is why we also need to have a heavy police presence within the area. We also can’t rule out criminal elements which might want to destabilise the day-to-day running of the city. As law enforcement, we are warning those who want to do that, that lawlessness won’t be tolerated and anyone found breaking the law will be dealt with decisively,” Fihla said.

He said the JMPD contingent is supported by the South African Police Service (SAPS) at the protest.

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