SAPA, 5 November 2013 15:32
Rubber bullets were fired at protesters at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, police said.
“A shooting did take place at the Union Buildings where some people were injured,” the police’s Captain Tsekiso Mofokeng confirmed.
The service delivery protest was held by residents of the Mooiplaas informal settlement, west of Pretoria.
Mofokeng was responding to a statement by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Gauteng condemning “the shooting of Mooiplaas Community who were in a process of a peaceful demonstration in Union Building (sic).
“Four of the EFF members are arrested while others [were] shot and injured and are in hospital,” the party’s Gauteng spokesperson, Patrick Sindane, said.
Pretoria metro police Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba could not confirm how many people were injured. He denied claims that protesters were shot at or arrested because of their political affiliations.
“The protesters were Mooiplaas community members and police did not react to certain political parties, but to protesters as a whole,” he said.
Sindane said the residents had applied and received permission to march, but were later told that the march had been cancelled.
Mahamba said it was cancelled because no one from the presidency was available to receive the residents’ memorandum. The march was then moved to Thursday, when the memorandum could be received.
“The community members were given adequate notice that the march was moved, as we contacted them from last Friday,” he said.
Mahamba said that despite several attempts to notify the group of the postponement, they still went ahead with their march and arranged for buses to take them to the Union Buildings.
“The march was illegal, as they were denied access to the Union Buildings,” Mahamba said.