Benoni fire station closed following damage during protest

Protestors on Tom Jones Street. Picture: Benoni City Times

Protestors on Tom Jones Street. Picture: Benoni City Times

Provincial police have been deployed to monitor the violence.

The operation of the Benoni fire station was suspended following damage to the facility during Monday’s protest action in Benoni, which ended at the Benoni Customer Care Centre, reports the Benoni City Times.

William Ntladi, spokesperson for Ekurhuleni Disaster and Emergency Management Services (Dems), said stones and various objects were used to damage the building.

“Stones and various assorted objects were used to break newly revamped machine bay doors and office windows,” said Ntladi.

“The extent of the damage is still undetermined, however, emergency operations have been suspended until the situation is normalised.”

Surrounding fire brigade services from Brakpan, Farrarmere and Boksburg are being put in place for swift interventions, should a need arise.

Eight people have been arrested for looting and damage to property.

Rubber bullets were fired at some of the protesters in Benoni, police said.

Major-General Poobalan Subbiah, the Ekurhuleni Central Cluster commander, said the approved march derailed.

“There are splinter groups that started chaos,” said Subbiah.

He said public order policing fired rubber bullets and arrests had been made.

Police are monitoring the situation and Subbiah said police reinforcements from the provincial SAPS would assist local police.

Initial reports indicated that people were given permission to march to the municipal buildings on Elston Avenue and hand over a memorandum to the MMC for housing.

The MMC had apparently not arrived, which fueled anger among the hundreds of people.

Watch this video of the protest action:

Many took to Twitter to report the violence:

Caxton News Service

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