At least two dead in Hammanskraal ‘war zone’

African News Agency

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At least two people were killed in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, during a violent protest (riot), the Tshwane Metro Police said on Monday.

Tshwane Metro Police spokesperson, Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba, said at least two people had died and about six were injured. No arrests had been made.

The Tshwane municipality issued a statement condemning the protest which was related forced removals by eviction agency, the so-called Red Ants.

“The executive mayor of Tshwane, Kgosientso Ramokgopa, received with a heavy heart news of the violent protest that erupted in Hammanskraal and how it has deteriorated,” Tshwane spokesperson Blessing Manale said.

“This despite the progressive roll-out of various programmes including Re Aga Tshwane aimed at promoting security of tenure and rolling out services to enhance the quality of lives of citizens. We remain deeply concerned by the acts of violence, displacements, confrontations, loss of property and gross disregard, as well as violation of human rights every time evictions take place.”

Manale said the city understood that the evictions “leave behind a trail of pain, which could be avoided and minimised, as we treated even those of our ungovernable citizens with respect rather than a sense of punishment”.

He said moving forward, the municipality would ensure that all future evictions did not infringe on the human rights of residents – especially the vulnerable groups including the elderly, women, children and people with disabilities.

Manale said Tshwane was concerned by actions and utterances by some political party members in mobilising vulnerable groups to defy court orders resulting in resistance and violence, “and we want to make it clear that we do not accept illegal occupations of land and properties”.

“We regret the inconvenience, pain and the unfortunate loss of lives caused by today’s disruptions and illegal protest, and commit to continue to improve our public order policing in cooperation with the South African Police Services, and the fire department to ensure that in future the appropriate rapid response is activated to minimise damage to property, injury and further loss of life,” said Manale.

Photos of the violence.

Burning body in Hammanskraal. Photo CICA.
Burning buses in Hammanskraal. Photo CICA
Burning bus in Hammanskraal. Photo CICA.
Hammanskraal protesters. Photo CICA

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SOURCEAfrican News Agency