Residents burn three cars to ashes during protest for electricity in Soweto
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Johannesburg - Residents protesting over lack of electricity in some parts of Soweto burnt cars, damaged some others and also left a man fighting for his life after he was hit on the head with a rock.
Three people have since been arrested.
It’s believed that the chaos started around 11pm on Monday.
According to Wayne Minnaar of the Johannesburg Metro Police, protesters believed to be from the Nancefield Hostel, took to the streets to complain about the lack of electricity.
He said two VW Polos and a van were completely torched and had to be removed from the scene by the metro police.
“There’s no evidence yet of what happened to the drivers,” Minnaar said.
According to Xolani Fihla, also from the JMPD, when they arrived at the scene, the three vehicles were completely torched.
Later, he said, a man travelling in a Renault found himself caught in the chaotic scenes.
“He told us that his car was stopped and he was pulled out. He was assaulted and robbed on his wallet and cellphone.
“His attackers also slashed his car tyres and stripped the engine. They also set his car alight but metro police officers arrived at the scene and put the fire out.
“The man said he thought he was being hijacked,” Fihla said.
Then around 6am on Tuesday, Fihla said, another protest erupted in Dobsonville.
He said metro police officers were in the area to attend to a complaint when they found that the main road had been blocked with tyres.
“We were told that the residents had done that to protest over lack of electricity.
“It was explained to them that it was just load shedding and that electricity would be back around 8.30. The Speaker of the Joburg Council was also there as she lives in the and explained to the residents as to what was happening.
“The protesting residents were not satisfied with the answers. They went on a rampage. They entered the nearby block of flats belonging to the Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco).
“They damaged the cars in the parking lot and a resident sustained a head injury after he was hit on the head with a rock.”
“Three people were arrested and charged with public violence and malicious damage to property.”