Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
9 May 2017
10:35 pm

Eldos protest leader denies saying Zuma is sending army against protesters

Citizen Reporter

Activist Jerome Lottering says he just wants a better life for coloured people.

Jerome Lottering (left) with other Camissa activists. Picture: Twitter

The man many have said is at the centre of the violent protests rocking Eldorado Park, Camissa leader Jerome Lottering, has made a public appeal to “restore normality” to the area, but he denies that he is behind a message claiming President Jacob Zuma declared Eldorado Park a “war zone” on Tuesday.

The message further says that the SA National Defence Force will “clean down” the area. “As your controller”, the man tells protesters to stand down and return to their houses and lock their doors.

The voice note, originally thought by some to be from the “coloured consciousness” Camissa chairman Lottering, started circulating on WhatsApp on Tuesday, but Lottering later released a statement saying it was not his message.

You can listen to the disputed voice note below:

Lottering said in his statement: “We are working on getting the community back to normality and order. Please bear with us as criminal elements who are hellbent on taking advantage of the situation are our biggest problem at the moment.”

Following a meeting held at the Don Mateman Civic Centre on Sunday afternoon, presided over by Lottering, residents of Greater Eldorado Park embarked on the protest action on Monday morning over the slow delivery of houses.

Roads were barricaded from as early as 3am as protesters took to the streets.

Westside Eldos reported that Lottering, however, distanced himself from the protest action in a tweet, saying, “I see my name is trending, but I have not organised the strike.”

They reported that Lottering went on to say that he had met with residents and their anger was palpable at the meeting.

Helicopters were circling the area to monitor the protests.

Housing has been a thorn in the flesh for residents for a number of years, with allegations of graft regarding the government-housing waiting list.

Residents blocked roads around the area, heavily affecting traffic on the Golden Highway. Several people, including journalists, were injured when stones were thrown on the highway.

Vehicles were damaged and police visibility was increased. Numerous shops, including Spar, Shoprite, Pep and a BP garage, were looted.

He said anyone found looting would have to face punishment. “We don’t condone criminality or violence and appeal to the community to exercise restraint.

“Our issue is for houses for our people and for jobs for our people.”

Lottering also asked for matric bursaries, “proper parks like Thokoza Park” and government jobs for “coloured and Khoisan people”.

He said he had gone to the United Nations “precisely because I want to see a change for all coloured people countrywide”.

Lottering added that he was “working overtime to bring normality back to Eldos”.

VISUALS: Violent protest action continues in Eldorado Park