Category Archives: Zandi Radebe

Daily Dispatch: Chaos as police fire rubber bullets in G’Town

The Daily Dispatch editorial ‘Tunisia Day’ is attached below in pdf.

Chaos as police fire rubber bullets in G’Town

by David Macgregor & Zandi Radebe

Police fired rubber bullets and shotguns loaded with rocksalt at angry residents of Phaphamani township outside Grahamstown on Thursday during a march to protest high crime rates and the lack of service delivery, reporters on the scene said.

Dispatch reporter David Macgregor said at least 100 people were involved in a tense stand-off with police after shots were fired earlier on Thursday to disperse the crowd.

“People are protesting, saying the area they live in was not safe and that the municipality was not listening to them,” Macgregor said.

Freelance journalist Zandi Radebe said the protest started around 8pm last night when residents staged a sit-in at the Makana Municipal offices in the scenic university town.

The sit-in and protest were organised by two local non-governmental organisations: the Woman’s Social Movement and the Unemployed People’s Movement.

It focused on the high incidence of rape in Phaphamani, as well as unhappiness over crumbling RDP housing and a demand that the bucket toilet system be replaced with modern facilities.

Radebe said police broke up the sit-in late Wednesday and when protesters tried to march to the council offices on Thursday, they were told the march was illegal.

Police then fired on the crowds. No serious injuries were immediately apparent.

Three leaders – a woman belonging to the Womens’ Social Forum and two men from the Unemployed People’s Movement were arrested and charged with public violence.

They were expected to appear in court on Friday.

Radebe said the situation remained tense with residents burning tyres and blocking the access road to Phaphani.

The Makana Municipality was not immediately available for comment.