Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, was swept by a wave of violent protests on Thursday. The residents were burning private property and looting shops. Several attacks on police officers were registered. Two protesters were found dead.
National police commissioner general Khehla Sitole has condemned the killings and called for reconciliation. The situation has reportedly stabilised and public order is monitored by the police.
Yesterday, the protesters in Soshanguve Extension 6 blocked a road at the taxi exchange spot in Nkandla informal settlement near M20 Road. At around 06:00am they torched a truck with cargo of cutlery worth an estimated R700,000. When the police arrived, the protesters attacked them. One of the policemen was shot and hospitalised.
The protesters then moved towards Doreng Street, where they looted a liquor store. Two protesters were arrested there for public violence.
Another looting incident ended up with a 35-year-old man dead. The shop owner shot him and fled the scene. When the police arrived, their vehicle was attacked and damaged.
Unstoppable protesters then proceeded to Extension 5 where they continued they destructive actions. After breaking into a private house and stealing some musical equipment, they burnt the house down. According to the police statement, a dead body of a 30-year-old man was found across the street from the burnt house.
Sitole addressed the community leaders asking to solve the service delivery issues amicably with the relevant organisations.
“I call on the community of Soshanguve to be calm as public violence is no solution to any problem but rather a crime which is punishable by law,” he said.
Sitole promised to leave no stone unturned “in the quest to trace and apprehend all perpetrators that masqueraded as protesters while advancing their criminal and violent activities that took the lives of two protesters.”
The arrested protesters would be appearing in court soon on charges of public violence.