Protesters, elderly woman injured after Tshwane metro cops fire rubber bullets

Tshwane metro police have allegedly shot and injured several people, including an elderly woman, after they used rubber bullets to disperse protesters who had blockaded several roads in Eersterust.

The woman was not taking part in the protests. 

"People were busy speaking to the station commander of a police station and the next moment metro police arrived in a Nyala and a bakkie and started shooting people with rubber bullets," said a resident. 

Roads were strewn with rubble and burning tyres on Wednesday morning, as residents vowed to continue protesting until Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga addressed them.

Read: 21 people arrested as protests spread to Riebeek Valley

Community members told News24 that a lack of housing and power outages which occur weekly in the area was at the heart of the matter.

"There are a lot of plots of land, so why doesn’t government do as they do everywhere else and build us RDP houses,” said a resident who did not want to be named. 

Several other residents told News24 that it was only Eersterust that was affected by the weekly power outages. They claimed that the lights remained on in neighbouring communities such as Mamelodi and Silverton. 

"There are certain times that the electricity is switched off and then later switched back on again," said one resident. 

"One of the challenges we face is that some of the residents in Eesterust do not want to move out of the area, and that is not how housing and service stands allocation is done," said the City of Tshwane's Selby Bokaba in a statement.   

The situation in the area is still tense.

Bokaba said the city had suspended the Mamelodi bus service on Wednesday morning in Eesterust. It would assess whether would run later in the day. 

Residents of Eersterust are "gatvol" of the lack of housing and services, saying that weekly their electricity is switched off. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

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