The powder-keg atmosphere surrounding Rabie Ridge reached an uncomfortable point on Monday morning, as the road blockades and burning tyres gave way to an ultimately more sinister action.
EFF tried to grab land. The people of the ward didn't even know so they blocked it from happening. A fighter shot someone in the back and another in the foot. It has nada to do with coloured anti-blackness and everything to do with people thinking they can do what they want to us
— Yung Stalin The Whisperer (@AwehBoetaMaks) April 15, 2019
Latest news from Rabie Ridge protests:
Not only did the police end up firing rubber bullets at the locals, but one person had been wounded by live ammunition at the scene. An ANCYL ward councillor (Tweeted above) made the unverified claim that the shooter was an EFF supporter, but that is yet to be confirmed: No deaths have been reported.
RABIE RIDGE RESIDENT ALLEGEDLY SHOT BY EFF FIGHTERS WHO ARE CLAIMING THE LAND AROUND RABIE RIDGE, RESIDENTS OF WHICH DON'T WANT THEM THERE pic.twitter.com/ZzlmpjPN3d
— THE BREADTAG ANOMALY (@Bush_Mahlathini) April 15, 2019
EFF involvement questioned
However, it would seem the red berets have had a hand in the chaos that’s afoot in Rabie Ridge. Speaking to EWN, one of the land invaders revealed that the EFF had instructed them to occupy a disputed piece of land
alongside the Modderfontein and Mayibuye Roads.
“[The land invader] said that nobody owns this land and the EFF has given them this land and whether people from Rabie Ridge wants this piece of land or not, they are going to build here by force.”
Edwin Ntshidi, EWN
Why are Rabie Ridge residents protesting?
The situation is incredibly complex: The majority of residents are protesting against the poor service delivery in their town, but a certain faction has now resorted to land grabs in order to make their point. However, this is a common occurrence in Rabie Ridge, and the initial protests demanded an end to all illegal occupation in the area.
The news that the EFF may have been involved in orchestrating these protests has added fuel to the fire of Alan Winde and his DA colleagues, who have adamantly maintained that both the ruling party “and their allies” have been engineering protests in politically-strategic towns.
The Alex Total Shutdown sparked a wave of demonstrations across South Africa, as several new protests flared-up on Monday morning. With just a few weeks until the country goes to the polls, authorities are facing a race against time to get the situation under control.