KwaZenzele residents shoot at CPF

SAPS Public Order Policing presence at the KwaZenzele Informal Settlement Phase One protest which started on Tuesday.

The riot started, when Lesedi Municipality instructed a security company (not the Red Ants) to remove five illegal shacks from an open piece of land across the road, on Tuesday when protesters blocked the road with burning tyres, rocks and water pipes.

Dennis Grose (66), Endicott/Vischkuil CPF and Rural Safety chairman, says they called for SAPS assistance before they started to clear the road.

Read: Burning tyres block Ermelo Road during protest

He claims there were 16 CPF members present and they waited for two hours for the police to arrive.

“Instead of assisting us to clear the road, the police sat in their vehicles,” he says.

Furthermore, he alleges that at one stage, while they were busy clearing the road, they were shot at by the residents who also threw stones at them and their vehicles.

He claims they were shot at with high velocity semi automatic weapons.

Grose’s vehicle bonnet was ripped by one of the bullets and the fire engine, which belongs to Rural Safety, has several hole in it.

“We firstly reported the shooting to the SAPS and when the shooting continued, we retaliated,” he claims.

Read: WATCH: Springs Police fire rubber bullets at protesters

On Tuesday there were only 20 people involved in the protest, but Grose claims there were approximately 300 people visible on Thursday evening.

“We don’t mind assisting the police and Lesedi Municipality, because we have the manpower and equipment, but we need to work together,” says Grose.

Lesedi Municipality spokesman Arthur Thokoane says the shacks were erected illegally on open land planned for KwaZenzele Phase Two.

“The erection of illegal structures is not only in contravention of municipal bylaws, but also hampers future developments which will benefit the entire community,” he says.

Springs police spokesman capt Johannes Ramphora confirms SAPS Public Order Policing and Visible Policing were called to the scene.

“We are investigating the allegations made by the Grose,” says Ramphora.

Anna Robertson

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