Tembisa calm after violent protest
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Johannesburg - Tembisa, on the East Rand, was calm on Wednesday afternoon after a clinic was burnt down and shops looted during a protest in Winnie Mandela, Gauteng police said.
“The situation is calm and no further arrests had been made,” said Lieutenant Kay Makhubela.
Angry residents resorted to blocking roads after the Red Ants Security and Eviction Services cut off electricity illegally connected in some of the houses.
The protest started at around 7pm on Tuesday. A local clinic was set on fire and 11 vehicles parked inside the premises were also burnt, Makhubela said.
The protesters then proceeded to loot local shops owned by foreign nationals.
“One resident was arrested and charged with theft after he was found inside one of the shops. The rest managed to run away on foot.”
Police were investigating cases of malicious damage to property, theft and public violence, Makhubela said.
Two minibus taxis were damaged after stones were thrown at them.
Ekurhuleni mayor Mondli Gungubele condemned the burning of the clinic and urged the community to co-operate with the police by sharing information that would lead in the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators.
“It is quite sad when you see these incidents. How do you set a clinic on fire when you and your family are dependent on it for survival? This just does not make sense,” he said during his visit to the area on Wednesday.
“Our Constitution allows our people to embark on a protest if they are unhappy with something and everyone must respect that. However, when such actions turn violent and criminal we must be ready to respond the best way we know how and protect our property and innocent people,” he said.
“What has happened here means we must now find resources to replace the damaged property when we could be broadening our services to those who do not have.”
The municipality said it lost in the region of R200 million a year due to illegal electricity connections.