JOHANNESBURG – Local government in Mohlakeng near Randfontein, say this afternoon’s violent protest is politically motivated and is blaming Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members for instigating the torching of buildings.
Residents have spent the day looting foreign owned shops and setting state property alight, including Mayor Sylvia Thebenare house.
They also looted foreign owned shops and police have been moving business owners out of the area.
The community is demanding housing, electricity and water. As the 2016 local government elections approach, leaders are adamant the EFF is behind today’s violence and destruction.
West Rand District mayor Mpho Nawa said, “The people who burned the mayor’s house are largely from the EFF.”
Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane has condemned the EFF for the violence in Mohlakeng.
“We are fortunate that no was hurt but it’s important to condemn the actions of the party.”
The MEC says local leaders have documents and police have video footage of who is responsible. She has shown the media a memorandum of grievances with the EFF’s logo on it. The party is yet to respond.
Calm has been restored but Randfontein residents say they’ll resume their protest tomorrow, vowing they’ll be blocking every street corner to stop people from going to work and children from going to school.
Police have confirmed that no one has been arrested following today’s unrest, but say officers will be deployed throughout the week to monitor the situation.