Tshwane protests: Looting, burning of buses continues

PRETORIA - Protests that began on Monday evening over the announcement of Thoko Didiza as the ANC’s Tshwane mayoral candidate continued throughout Tuesday.

The situation became so volatile that by the end of the working day, commuters were left stranded as buses and taxis lessened their services in fear of violence.

Earlier claims that government would deploy the army to affected townships were later denied by Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

"The situation is assessed on a daily basis and depending on the outcome of that assessment we will make a choice on whether to deploy the SANDF or not. They [the army] are a last line. We have the police deployed across the country," she said at a press briefing in Pretoria.

Several areas emerged as flashpoints of violence, in a backlash against the announcement of Didiza as the ANC’s mayoral candidate. The townships of Attridgeville and Soshanguve in Tshwane were widely considered to be no-go area as residents took to the streets to protest, blockading roads in the process.

A group of protesters used live ammunition while trying to break into a shopping mall in Mamelodi on Tuesday, police said.

Someone shot at the padlock at the locked entrance to the mall, Colonel Noxolo Kweza said.By Tuesday evening it seemed as if the situation had calmed down though there were still reports of looting and buses being burnt in areas such as Mamelodi.

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