As scores of Tembisa residents vow to continue with their protests until their grievances over service delivery shortfalls are met, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have called on the South African Police Services (Saps) and Ekhuruleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) to practice restraint in their interactions with protesters.
On Monday, the township was completely shut down as protests by angry residents turned violent claiming the lives of at least four people.
The EMPD confirmed that another two people died during the volatile protests.
The two bodies were found near the Customer Care Centre, where the Municipal Centre was set alight.
The EFF says the party is saddened by the deaths of the community members
“As the EFF, we are saddened by the news of the death of two individuals as a result of gun-fire from law enforcement, and the death of an additional two individuals where circumstances are not yet clear.”
“The trigger-happy police have shown incompetence and a failure to control a volatile situation, by resorting to killing people instead of managing the situation,” the party said.
The EFF says the violent service delivery protests in Tembisa come as a result of the constant rise in the cost of living, electricity and general poverty that characterises South African society.
“There must be no further loss of life in Tembisa, and the police must be careful to not turn a service delivery protest into a massacre. Civil unrest must be addressed through political interventions and dialogue, not through the unleashing of state-machinery to kill people for practicing their democratic right to protest.”
Meanwhile, its not yet clear if roads have reopened on Tuesday morning after they were barricaded with rocks and burning tyres and local businesses including petrol stations and food outlets closed.
An Ekurhuleni Municipality Customer Care Centre, an electricity sub-station including municipal and private vehicles, had also been set alight during the violent protest.