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Increased protests call for service delivery, police visibility and cramp down on Zama Zamas

Umamah Bakharia 

This past week, protests have erupted in various areas within the Gauteng region with calls for the government to act swiftly.

Earlier this week, residents in Tembisa took to the streets on concerns over unsatisfactory service from the customer care staff and tariff inequalities between various townships in the city.

They had since called on Ekurhuleni Mayor Tania Campbell to address the community on their grievances. Even though Campbell is set to meet the community of Thembisa on Friday morning, she says the protests have been politically orchestrated.

 

 

Meanwhile, the community of Kagiso, west of Johannesburg, are calling for increased police visibility following violent protests over illegal mining and crime.

On Thursday, protestors raided homes of alleged illegal miners in the area. This comes following the rape of eight women at a disused minidump in Krugersdorp by alleged Zama Zamas.

Even though the protest started peacefully from Kagiso Extension 8 to Soul City, it quickly turned violent when shacks were set alight in the illegal settlements. Police were called in, and suspects were taken into custody.

Deputy National Police Commissioner Tebello Mosikili confirmed that the found suspects were in police custody: “What we are pleading is as communities, let us alert the police. Show them where these people are amongst ourselves because it’s not all of them.”

Authorities say they have arrested 120 people for being in the country illegally. As identity parades and DNA analysis are underway in some cases, it has emerged that 21 suspects are juveniles, and their cases will be handed over to the children’s court.

Police Minister Bheki Cele says authorities will now use a national approach to stop illegal miners.

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