Police on high alert in Soweto amid flare-up of protests
Residents of Diepkloof Hostel embarked on a volatile service delivery protest bringing the N1 and N12 highway to a complete standstill
JMPD officers clear the road after a protest near the Diepkloof Hostel on 14 June 2023. Photo: JMPD
Law enforcement officers will be stationed in Diepkloof, Soweto, on Thursday amid fears of a flare-up of protests.
On Wednesday, residents of the Diepkloof Hostel embarked on a volatile service delivery protest bringing the N1 and N12 highways to a complete standstill.
Frustrated Diepkloof community members barricaded the highway with rocks and burning tyres calling for the provision of basic services including electricity, water and sanitation and housing.
Two trucks with groceries and explosives were looted by the protesters.
Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) spokesperson Xolani Fihla said officers will be monitoring the area.
“Following yesterday’s protest action in Diepkloof by residents of Diepkloof Hostel who blockaded the N1 and N12 freeway and also Chris Hani Road next to the hostel with burning tyres, debris and rocks, police are closely monitoring the area for any flareups.
“The situation is calm this morning and police will continue to monitor the area for any further disturbances and disruptions,” Fihla said.
Meanwhile, police have recovered the explosives that were looted during volatile service delivery protest in Diepkloof,
Police spokesperson Colonel Mavela Masondo said the Diepkloof residents looted trucks during their protest action.
Masondo said Saps officers including the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD), the Tactical Response Team, Bomb-Disposal Unit and other law enforcement officials pounced on the looters to recover the stolen items.
“The officials responded swiftly to recover the looted goods, especially the explosives due to the danger that they posed to the residents.
“A search was conducted at the hostel, with the help of community leaders (Izinduna). The Provincial Commissioner has appreciated the working relationship that the Saps continues to have with Izinduna and all community structures in the fight against crime,” Masondo said.
Masondo added that police have opened a case of public violence. No arrests have been made yet.