The Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) has confirmed that two more people have lost their lives during the Tembisa service delivery protests on Monday.
The two bodies were found near the Customer Care Centre, where the Municipal Centre was set alight. This brings the death toll to four, Newzroom Afrika reported.
The cause of the deaths is unknown at this stage.
The first and second fatalities were reported in the morning, after protesters were caught in the crossfire between officers and other demonstrators.
Angry Tembisa residents blockaded several roads around the community with burning tyres and rocks on Monday in a community shutdown.
Several municipal vehicles, including the municipal offices, have also been torched during violent protests with sporadic instances of looting being reported.
Members of the community have been demonstrating since Sunday night, completely blocking Hospital Road.
This over what they say is a deafening silence on their pleas for assistance with service delivery challenges.
Premier David Makhura has condemned acts of violence and lawlessness demonstrated by the residents.
“We acknowledge that residents have the democratic right to express their grievances. However, communities must express their grievances in a and constructive manner. The violent and destructive nature of these protests is unacceptable,” said Makhura.
“We would like to send our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of the deceased, our thoughts are with them.
Ekurhuleni mayor Tania Campbell has also called for calm to immediately be restored in Tembisa.
“Citizens have the constitutional right to protest, however, such acts of arson and vandalism to public infrastructure will not be tolerated. Last week, I delegated five Members of the Mayoral Committee to engage residents on the memorandum they submitted to The City. However, that meeting unfortunately collapsed and failed to reach any resolutions.”
Campbell said she would be contacting the Premier of the Gauteng Province through the intergovernmental relations channels to develop a coordinated approach to the impasse by government.
“As a Multi-Party Coalition Government, we are concerned that the visuals we are witnessing in Tembisa are no longer community-based, but rather a well-orchestrated operation to render the township ungovernable.”
“We believe that the current destruction of public infrastructure is politically motivated and intended to undermine the progress of the new administration,” Campbell said.
Campbell has urged the residents of Tembisa to remain safe and trust that law enforcement authorities will restore law and order in the area.
Additional reporting by Faizel Patel