More than 12,000 poor black squatters took to the streets in greater Pretoria and Brits – demanding houses, electricity, clean water and flush-toilets… right now
March 20 2010 – PRETORIA. With only 92 days before the start of the prestigious FIFA football World Cup 2010 in South Africa more than 7,000 protestors – amongst them even small pupils armed with stones – built burning barricades outside seven squatter camps near Mamelodi East Pretoria and threatened to disrupt the WC2010. The Mamelodi-satellite campus of the University of Pretoria had to close down because of the demonstrations. Shops were locked up and cars were stopped from entering the area. A Pick ’n Pay truck also was looted by protestors.
Picture from Beeld March 99 2010: some 5,000 protestors also marched from Oukasie township near Brits – north of Pretoria -- to the Madibeng municipal offices on the same day -- accusing ANC-officials of neglecting public housing projects and municipal services while wasting money on ‘wasteful football tournaments’ while ignoring the needs of the poorest of the poor languishing in filthy squatter camps.
At Mamelodi-East near Pretoria – which has six gigantic squatter camps mushrooming out of control -- thousands of angry residents built burning barricades at Tsamaya Road, Hector Peterson Street and Hans Strijdom Drive all day and threw motorists with rocks. Police tried to chase away the angry stone-throwing crowds with rubber-bullets – and even reportedly also fired live rounds over their heads. It’s not known if anybody was injured by falling bullets… Police Captain Johannes Maheso said four people were arrested. The protests followed hot on the heels of similar organised anti-WC2010 protests in the Gauteng towns of Hammanskraal, Soshanguve and Brits over the past months.
These protest marches also have also been growing dramatically in size and ferocity from just a few about three years ago to the daily mass-protests like those yesterday. The black protestors’ anger at the elitist ruling ANC-cabal is also growing more each day.
“We will disrupt the WC2010 football tournaments”
Beeld journalist Virginia Keppler reported that the Mamelodi-East protestors -- (Beeld picture left of a pupil with stones) -- also openly threatened to massively disrupt the forthcoming football-tournaments. “If the government can act so efficiently to prepare for the WC2010 and spends so many millions of Rands on it, it’s a disgrace that people now are still living in such dismal squatter camps, ‘ said resident Vusi Nkosi. “The football means nothing to us – we can’t watch it anyway without electricity,’ he said.
“We will fight and toi-toi just like the ANC has taught us…’
At Oukasie near Brits about 5,000 residents marched to the local municipal offices. Local community leader Ms Veronica Mphahlele said the government had promised them in 2000 that they would get 'permanent housing and land of our own’. It’s now ten years later and we are still squatting in the ame place. Instead the municipality just sends in the police to come and shoot us,’ she said. She said there are widespread accusations by Oukasie residents that ‘town councillors, the SAPS and the metro-police are enriching themselves by selling off houses built for the poor for their self-enrichment’. The local MEC for public housing and local government admitted that ‘they have a large backlog in building public housing because of the difficulties of obtaining new municipal land.’ The government did promise to build 5,000 new houses, he admitted. Local community leader Absalom Boroto issued a public call for national housing minister and multi-millionaire Tokyo Sexwale to ‘hold a meeting with them so that we can submit proof of all these empty promises made to us over the years’