Gauteng police on Monday night confirmed that four people havd died in the ongoing violent protest in Tembisa over “expensive” electricity and other utility bills.
A mob of protesters descended on municipal buildings to voice their dissatisfaction over high rates and electricity.
They demanded Ekurhuleni mayor Tania Campbell visit the area for a meeting with them.
She had been due to meet the community last week, and the alleged non-attendance angered the community, leading to the protest action.
Two of the people who died during the protest, were allegedly killed by members of the Ekurhuleni metro police department (EMPD).
Speaking to PowerFM on Monday evening, Campbell said she had already spoken to the chief of police about the deaths and consequence management can only be addressed after an investigation into the deaths has been concluded.
“It is a sad situation, I send my condolences not only to those families but the community as well.
“What happened today should never have happened because the Tembisa community forum is not violent, but what happened today is that external forces changed it into a violent situation,” Campbell said.
The first victim was allegedly shot by EMPD members while he was buying a cigarette at one of the shops in Makhulong.
Another one was visiting a friend next to his house when he was caught in the cross fire after police opened fire.
It is not yet clear what happened to the other two victims, however, there are reports that they were killed after they tried to bomb an ATM.
In an interview with Newzroom Afrika, Ekurhuleni’s finance MMC, councillor Fanyana Nkosi, spoke about the financial implications of the blockades on trade and businesses in the area.
“Trade being stopped and economic activity being stopped impacts on the City of Ekurhuleni as well, in terms of revenue collection,” he said.
A municipal building and a police station were torched as the protests grew violent.
The @City_Ekurhuleni mayor Tania Campbell arrived at the Olifantsfontein municipal offices. She met with the organisers of the #Tembisashutdown and later answered questions from the media. She said the violent protest on Monday was well-orchestrated operation | @ScrollaAfrica pic.twitter.com/CRgpGAmf0a— BEAST OF NEWS (@BEASTONSCROLLA) August 1, 2022