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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

WATCH: Riverlea residents want army to be deployed to ‘warzone’

Residents of Riverlea said the violence in the area is having a severe impact on their lives and leaving children traumatised

The community of Riverlea has called on government to deploy more police and the army to stem the violence and rid the area of zama zamas.

Angry and frustrated residents took to the streets early on Monday morning, barricading Main Reef Road with burning tyres and rocks. They were protesting over illegal mining in the area following an intense battle on Saturday night which left five dead.

More police and army

Community activist Nomaan Mubarak told The Citizen they want government to hear their fears and concerns.

“Our children are traumatized. The gun shots that is taking place each and ever night is ridiculous, it is basically like a war that is carrying on. For our children to grow up in these conditions is dangerous and unhealthy.”

Mubarak said they want government to rid Riverlea of zama zamas.

“We want the army to be deployed so they can get rid of the zama zamas. Another thing is the squatter camps as well. We want home affairs to remove the illegal foreign nationals and demolish Zamimpilo.”

ALSO READ: WATCH: ‘People are being slaughtered’ − Riverlea residents live in fear

‘We will protest every day’

Mubarak said they will continue their protests until they are heard and something is done.

“We will continue to protest every day because we are tired now and enough is enough. We’ve been writing memorandums and nothing has been happening. We are not being heard so we have to take matters in our own hands now.”

Dead bodies

Another Riverlea resident, Rheeanne Swarts, said the violence is having a severe impact on their lives.

“Every day we must suffer with these people shooting. At night, when we are sleeping, they are walking in the streets with their guns. Anything can happen to us. Saturday 20 people were shot, now they are finding dead bodies.

“They found a dead body here by the robots. Somebody drove past and person was shot in the vehicle. So, we need a solution to this problem. This is a big problem,” Swarts said.

Meanwhile, the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) is monitoring the protest.

JMPD spokesperson Xolani Fihla urged motorists to use alternative routes.

He said the situation is tense at the moment, however, officers have been deployed to the area.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Riverlea protesters barricade Main Reef Road after deadly zama zama gun battle

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