Citizen reporter
1 minute read
4 Apr 2019
8:03 am

Security concerns temporarily halt Alex protest action

Citizen reporter

A tip-off received on Wednesday evening indicated private security guards had been hired to attack protesters and disrupt demonstrations.

Protesters in Alexandra township in Johannesburg shut down the township over lack of service delivery, 3 April 2019. Roads were barricaded and blocked with burning tyres, as hundreds marched demanding better basic services. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Sandile Mavundla, the organiser of the Alexandra protests, which have plagued the area since Wednesday, has cited serious security concerns, prompting him to call off protest action for the day.

He said protest action was meant to move to the Sandton area today.

According to Mavundla, information received on Wednesday evening indicated that private security guards had been hired to attack protesters and disrupt demonstrations.

ALSO READ: Alexandra protest ‘under control’ – Joburg metro police

Johannesburg metropolitan police department spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said that two protesters were arrested on Wednesday and that a strong police presence brought the situation under control.

Irate Alexandra residents barricaded roads with rocks and burning tyres to protest against a lack of service delivery in the area, as well as voice their concerns that the city council had not developed the area or clamped down on illegal structures.

Community members were accusing the city of Johannesburg of failing to stop the rapid growth of illegal structures and had vowed to press on with the protest until they heard from DA mayor Herman Mashaba.

“I have noted protests taking place in Alexandra as they relate to housing challenges and illegal occupation of land within the community. I deeply sympathise with the challenges experienced by the residents of Alex,” Mashaba said in a statement.

He said the residents had been let down by the previous ANC administration, who had promised infrastructure and housing at the township.

Mashaba also said he was aware of lawlessness in the community, but policing was the domain of the ANC-controlled provincial and national government.

Additional reporting by ANA.

(Compiled by Nica Schreuder)

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