EFF torched buildings, says MEC
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Johannesburg - EFF members set fire to municipal buildings during a protest in Mohlakeng, outside Randfontein, Gauteng co-operative governance and human settlements MEC Jacob Mamabolo said on Wednesday.
“The EFF members went on a rampage and burnt down municipal properties after blockading all roads and entrances into the area, preventing the community to go to work,” Mamabolo said in a statement.
Mayor Sylvia Thebenare's house and car, the library, municipal offices and hall were among the properties burnt.
Mamabolo said protesters looted shops owned by foreign nationals. He condemned the violence.
“This is a cowardly act and a total disregard for our democracy. In fact the EFF is saying away with democracy and advocating for a chaotic society characterised by violence, civil strife and general disorder.”
Residents embarked on a service delivery protest on Wednesday, barricading roads and burning tyres.
Mamabolo said the Economic Freedom Fighters were granted permission to march, but did not deliver a memorandum to anyone.
The EFF's West Rand regional chairwoman, Christina Mabala, said local African National Congress members started the fires.
“Some people within the ANC decided to use the opportunity to burn properties and loot. We as the EFF distance ourselves from the violent acts and damage to property,” she said.
Mabala said the EFF organised a march from Mohlakeng township to Randfontein to hand a memorandum of grievances to Thebenare.
Police fired rubber bullets at the marchers after they stopped next to the traffic department to regroup, she said.
“We also received calls that people were burning buildings in the township after police fired rubber bullets at those who decided to turn back.
“Mamabolo was not there... he should stop making false accusations against the EFF.”
The marchers handed a memorandum to municipal officials, Mabala said.