Mon. Jan 18th, 2021

Nine arrests made following Joe Slovo land protests

Land protestsNine arrests have been made after violent protests over the removal of informal settlements threatened commuters using the N12 in Gauteng.

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Police have arrested nine people after land invasion protests in the Joe Slovo area, south of Johannesburg turned violent.

Protests erupted in the area adjacent to Eldorado Park after informal settlements were removed by authorities.

Police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubela claimed the protesters were witnessed attempting to stone vehicles on the N12. The protesters were attempting to barricade the road when the SAPS arrived on the scene to disperse the gathering.

“We have arrested nine suspects for public violence. They were trying to barricade the road when they were arrested,” Makhubela said in a statement issued to the press.

The former residents of the destroyed informal settlement had returned to an open patch of land intent on re-erecting their shacks, while others at the land protests engaged in the alleged disruptive action.

“They will be appearing in court on Tuesday. There was no damage to property. Traffic is now free flowing,” Makhubela added.

The SAPS spokesperson said that police presence had been beefed up in hotpots effected by the recent spate of service delivery protests across the Gauteng province.

The piece of land occupied by protesters has been earmarked for a low-cost housing development.

The Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) had warned motorists to avoid the N12 while the protests were ongoing.

JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said: “There are violent protests along the N12 between Lenasia and Eldorado Park. Officers had to breakdown illegal shacks.

“The protesters started throwing stones at passing vehicles. Nine people have been arrested and will be charged at Eldorado Park police station.”

Service delivery protests kicked off in Alexandra township earlier this month and have since spread across the province.

SAPS spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubela said that apart from this incident the Easter weekend had been a peaceful one.

“The situation around Gauteng is quiet and there are no protests reported, but police are all over the province patrolling and making sure that roads are safe.”

Police believe the N12 is once again safe for commuters.

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