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By Karabo Ngoepe
Pretoria – Two people have been killed and 40 arrested since violence broke out in Tshwane, police said on Wednesday.
“Two of the suspects were shot and killed following looting in Mamelodi,” spokesperson Colonel Noxolo Kweza said.
The arrests were made in Atteridgeville, Hercules, Mabopane, Soshanguve, and Mamelodi between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, during protests against the ANC’s decision to nominate Thoko Didiza as its mayoral candidate for the metro.
Violence broke out after the party made the announcement on Monday.
Those arrested would face charges of public violence, theft, and possession of stolen property.
Numerous businesses in the city had been looted and damaged, and at least 19 buses were burnt.
“Incidents of protests and looting continued in other areas while the situation is tense in others,” Kweza said.
Gauteng provincial commissioner, Lieutenant General Deliwe de Lange said the lawlessness in various parts of Tshwane would not be tolerated.
Those found breaking the law under the pretext of protesting would be arrested. She appealed for calm and said police were protecting residents. – News24
Two shot dead in South African capital as looters ransack shops
By Dinky Mkhize
PRETORIA, June 22 (Reuters) – South African police said on Wednesday that two suspected looters had been shot dead in the capital in violence triggered by the ruling party’s choice of a mayoral candidate for local polls.
Police said they also arrested 40 rioters who had been attacking foreigners’ shops as public anger mounted over economic hardship in the build-up to Aug. 3 elections likely to become a referendum on President Jacob Zuma’s leadership.
Residents of Pretoria’s townships began setting cars and buses alight on Monday night after the ruling African National Congress (ANC) named a candidate in the Tshwane municipality where the capital city is located, overruling the choice of regional branches. Burned-out cars still blocked roads on Wednesday.
The two killed were shot on Tuesday night, said Colonel Noxolo Kweza, police spokeswoman for Gauteng Province. She did not say who had shot them.
“Two of the suspects were shot and killed following looting at Mamelodi,” police said in a statement, adding that those arrested would face charges of violence and theft.
“Incidents of protests and looting continued in other areas while situation is tense in others.”
Violence continued in parts of the capital on Wednesday.
“Some of the areas are tense but quiet for now, while in other areas there is still some unrest, there are reports of protests and incidents of looting,” Kweza said.
“We will have strong police presence tonight, as we have had during the other nights.”
Protesters continued to clash with police and “a disproportionate part of the looting was taking place at shops owned by foreign nationals,” Tshwane Metro police spokesman Console Tleane told eNCA television.
Foreigners, many of them from other African countries, suffered a wave of attacks in April last year, by crowds blaming them for taking jobs and business.
40 people have been arrested for theft, public violence and possession of stolen property. #TshwaneUnrest
— Lirandzu Themba (@LirandzuThemba) June 22, 2016
ANC “Losing Touch”
The mayoral dispute flared on Sunday when an ANC member was shot dead as party factions met to decide on a candidate for mayor of Pretoria’s Tshwane municipality.
The ANC leadership then named senior party member and former cabinet minister Thoko Didiza as its candidate for Tshwane, overriding regional branch members and refusing to back down as the violence mounted.
The ANC said it picked the candidate as a compromise between two rival factions in Tshwane. But critics say the decision by the party, which has been in power since the end of white-minority rule in 1994, showed that it is losing its touch in areas – including Pretoria – where it was once unassailable.
A meeting by the party due to be held on Wednesday to discuss the crisis was postponed, an ANC regional official Lesego Makhubela told EWN online news service.
Analysts warned of more unrest in Gauteng province, which includes Pretoria and Johannesburg.
“Intra-ANC, election-related, factional violence is being ignored by markets trading on external factors, but is worrying,” London-based Nomura emerging markets analyst Peter Attard Montalto said in a note.
Zuma survived impeachment in April after the Constitutional Court ruled he had breached the constitution by ignoring an order from the anti-graft watchdog to repay some of the $16 million in state funds spent renovating his home.
“Ahead of the August elections, disgruntled ANC supporters in Gauteng will be motivated by the Pretoria riots to stage further protests to demonstrate the unpopular ANC leadership’s decisions,” Robert Besseling, head of the EXX Africa business risk intelligence group, said in a note.
eNCA reporter robbed in Tshwane
By Lizeka Tandwa
Pretoria – eNCA journalist Jody Jacobs and a camerawoman were robbed after a live report on the protests in Tshwane on Wednesday evening.
“We had just finished a live broadcast. Seconds later two guys walked up to us and started making small talk. They lifted the camera and became aggressive and they took the equipment,” Jacobs told News24.
He and the camerawoman, Noluthando Hlophe, decided against fighting the two men after they threatened to pull a gun on them.
The men fled in a Honda parked nearby.
“It happened in a matter of seconds. It seems like these guys watched us. They knew that we had just finished with our live updates,” he said.
— Lirandzu Themba (@LirandzuThemba) June 22, 2016
The men took a camera, tripod, and microphone.
“Unfortunately this is what happens in journalism,” he added.
SA National Editors’ Forum chairperson Mpumelelo Mkhabela said the assault and intimidation of journalists hampered their efforts to let people communicate with the powers that be.
“Journalists are the messengers who tell the stories of those who are protesting. Journalists should be allowed to access any part of the country. They are not there for their selfish interests. They are there to tell people’s stories,” he said.
News24 journalists Jeff Wicks and Karabo Ngoepe said police officers assaulted and intimidated them while they were covering protests in Ga-Rankuwa, Pretoria. – News24
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