Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
2 Oct 2018
1:18 pm

Westbury residents threaten to burn down police station after Cele speech

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

The Citizen has received unconfirmed reports that the protests are set to spread to coloured communities across the rest of South Africa on Wednesday.

What remains of a Rea Vaya bus station in Westbury. Image: Twitter/@Slindelo_M

Angry members of the Westbury community in Gauteng have threatened to burn down the Sophiatown police station following a speech at a local stadium by police minister Bheki Cele.

On Monday The Citizen reported that a Rea Vaya bus station was torched and destroyed during protests.

Westbury residents cheered Cele on as he listed the allegations he had taken to account against the police at the Sophiatown police station.

The stadium was packed with hundreds of residents from Westbury and surrounding communities who came to hear Cele address the community.

READ MORE: Westbury protest boils over after bus station set alight

Cele made several promises on the government’s planned intervention into the gang-violence-ridden area including deploying more officers to deal with the drug dealing pandemic in Westbury.

Residents had been accusing police of being in cahoots with drug dealers in the area. Cele promised an investigation which was currently underway would be reported on within a week.

Westbury residents took to the podium to voice some of the community’s long-standing sociopolitical issues which they said had been ignored by the government.

A female community leader spoke out against Patriotic Alliance leader Gayton McKenzie for apparently ‘selling out’ the coloured community.

READ MORE: Cele to address Westbury amid claims that ANC ‘doesn’t care about coloured people’

Traditional leaders cheered on as the woman pointed out that the coloured people in South Africa were indigenous to the country yet they were the most downtrodden.

She warned that voters in the area would no longer vote with their hearts but with their heads. ‘ If you want our vote, serve us,’ she said.

‘Allow me to stay away from politics let’s deal with the letters you have sent.’ Cele said in response.

Speakers from the community repeatedly called for the release the five arrested protesters who remained in police custody. Residents were angered when Cele began explaining why they could not be released.

The Citizen has received unconfirmed reports that the protests are set to spread to coloured communities across the rest of South Africa on Wednesday.

– Simnikiweh@citizen.co.za

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