Reports of unrest across parts of Johannesburg have been shared on social media on Sunday morning, 11 July, presumably as part of the ‘Gauteng Shutdown’ protest action. Here’s what we know.
Gauteng Shutdown latest: 11 July
14:40 update: N1 closed near Sebokeng
The N1 near Sebokeng was closed following reports of unrest. JMPD warned of service delivery protests on the N1 near the Sebokeng exit. – both the north and southbound have been barricaded with rocks and burning tyres.
Officers have been deployed to the scene and motorists are advised to use alternative routes. It’s still unclear whether the protests in Seboken are linked to the FreeJacobZuma movement.
13:30 update: Protesters marching through JHB
A crowd of protesters 700-strong ism marches through the streets of Johannesburg after supporters of #FreeJacobZuma movement gathered at Kwa Mai Mai market in Johannesburg at 12:30.
Authorities also arrested protesters in Hillbrow, following a break-in at a liquor store as protests spread through the district.
Update: 12:50 Protesters gather at MTN taxi rank
11:40 update: M3 completely blocked off
JMPD spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar on Sunday morning confirmed widespread protests along the Gauteng’s freeways, with unrest raging on the M2 since 10pm Saturday evening.
He said the M2 was completely blocked off at Denver between the Maritzburg offramp and Cleveland while officials are diverting traffic to the old Cleveland road for motorists lanes barricaded by rocks and burning tyres:
“We don’t want to risk anyone’s life by allowing them to drive on the freeway where they can or will be shot at.”
Minaar encourages motorists to make use of alternative routes. Those coming from O.R Tambo International Airport should use the N12, while motorists coming from the South of Johannesburg should use the R24.
Alternatively, Minaar says those going to the northern side of Johannesburg should use the N1 via the Western Bypass. There have been reports of protests along the N3. While it cannot be confirmed at the time of publishing, officers have been dispatched to investigate.
9:23 update: Jeppestown protests
Yusuf Abramjee on Saturday said reports of unrest have been streaming in from Jeppestown, Denver and Alexandra. In addition, the Joburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) warned of protest action on the M2 near the Denver exit.
“Both the east- and westbound are blocked off by rocks and burning tyres. Officers have been deployed; road users are advised to use alternative routes”, the department said.
A video shared on social media shows a burned-down church, shops and other buildings while stores are being looted in Jeppestown, Johannesburg.
Note: The authenticity of these videos could not be confirmed at the time of publishing.
South Africans have been criticising the protests on social media. One citizen said he is “very disappointed about what s happening [in South Africa], people who should be blamed are top officials [because] they failed to solve their problems”.
Another added: “That’s their aim, to loot people’s shops, nothing else. Zuma is in Escourt, why don’t they go and shut down the police station? Here in [Johannesburg], it’s gonna be war”.