South African police officers fired rubber bullets into a crowd of violent protesters in Johannesburg CBD today, after the rioters attacked police who had responded to the protest in Rahima Moosa Street.
Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar, Joburg Metro Police (JMPD) Spokesperson, said both the metro police and SAPS (SA Police Service) officers were attacked.
Minnaar told local reporters: “Officers had to fire rubber bullets at the protesters to disperse them.”
Videos, shared on social media by residents in the area, showed frightening scenes. The cause of the protest is unclear. According to some locals, the protesters were foreign nationals.
Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has been cracking down on the sale of counterfeit goods in the CBD, much of which trade is handled by foreign nationals. While some accuse Mashaba of being ‘xenophobic’, others say the city is being held hostage by foreigners who are wrecking the economy for locals.
Mashaba said Thursday evening: “I wish
@SAPoliceService can provide us with the number of arrests made during this madness. Police are not just about dispersing crowds when crime is committed. They have a Constitutional responsibility to arrest those behind committing crime.”
Motorists were advised to avoid the area earlier today, and buses were temporarily diverted, according to Rea Vaya Bus transit.
— South Africa People (@sapeople) August 1, 2019
Unrest in the Johannesburg CBD. Foreigners running amok. pic.twitter.com/i0rWzUt0Yf
— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) August 1, 2019
RIOTING/TRASHING OF JHB CBD BECAUSE OF SAPS AND JMPD ENFORCING BY-LAW INFRINGEMENTS.
“How do we let a city be dominated by 80% of foreign nationals?” pic.twitter.com/4GXve5sGzC
— Thabang (@Tbang__) August 1, 2019