Four people were allegedly shot at as police attempted to evict residents on Tuesday at the Thembelihle Village in Pretoria CBD due to electricity bills being in arrears.
According to resident Lianda Thamane, electricity company, Voltano, arrived with police in tow at the flats, situated at the corner of Struben and Johannes Ramokhoase streets, in an effort to switch off the electricity meters.
“We are experiencing police brutality because the tenants are failing to update their utility bills post lockdown despite the residents having called the people at Voltano to make payment arrangements, which the people have been honouring.
“Some tenants have a court order that the company must not switch off the electricity or lock them out because some were unable to pay rent.”
Thamane said the police fired shots at four people, including a minor, while trying to remove some of the residents from the premises.
“The police from Voltano and the residents do understand the seriousness of the situation and that no switching off of electricity should be happening, but the police are shooting at us and our mothers who have worked tirelessly to cover this unmaintainable utility bill.”
She further said that residents had been urging Thembelihle Village’s management to convene a meeting in order to try resolve the matter.
“We been having this fight for over four years. They do not honour court orders and we have been trying to get meetings with management so we can try resolve this issue in a civilised manner. We even reached out to the S’khipha Amafiles show because this has been going on and on. Our voices are not being heard and we are tired….water and electricity are basic human rights.”
Thembelihle Village’s management was unreachable for comment by the time of this article’s publication.