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Teargas fired at Daveyton protesters

2014-08-24 14:17

Johannesburg - Police fired teargas to disperse a crowd outside the Sinaba stadium in Daveyton on Sunday, after Ekurhuleni mayor Mondli Gungubele spoke to them about their housing concerns.

A group of people burnt tyres and threw stones. They were unhappy with Gungubele's speech in the stadium earlier. He told them the mayoral committee needed more time to address their concerns.

"We are aware of the challenges and we need time to address them," Gungubele said.

The committee would conduct a housing audit and draft a list of people who qualified for RDP houses, especially those living in back rooms. The committee was expected to finalise the audit by next month.

"We are angry because this is an empty promise. We have already been waiting for houses," said a local resident who did not want to be named.

Another resident, Isaac Hlophe, said they were unhappy because housing officials and councillors were taking bribes to give houses to other people.

Gungubele told the gathering an investigation into the alleged corruption would be conducted.

"They [the committee] also say they are going to investigate, but they never do," Hlophe said.

Hundreds of people gathered at the stadium on Sunday morning to hear Gungubele. They sang and danced as they made their way into the stadium.

Many carried placards with the words "stop selling RDP houses" and "we want land".

Some people booed and started leaving the stadium as Gungubele began to speak. Ward councillor Victor Chiloane called for calm and said the meeting was for people who had concerns, not a place for disruptions.

Residents began protesting on Monday after they tried to illegally invade land and police prevented them from doing so. Protesters blockaded roads in the area with rocks, tree-trunks, tyres, and other objects.

A number of foreign-owned shops were looted on Tuesday.

"Criminal elements organised themselves into small groups of between six and 12 people and went and looted different shops from around sunset yesterday [Tuesday] until around 21:00," Ekurhuleni metro police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wilfred Kgasago said on Wednesday.

Six people were arrested for the looting.

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