MEC Mazibuko needs to urgently intervene to restore peace at Gomora, West of Pretoria

01 Jul 2022 in Press Statements

The community of Hercules and surrounding areas of Gomora in the West of Pretoria are suffering, and they are unable to go to work and leave their homes unattended or engage in any economic trade due to a hostile strike.

This hostile strike has been caused by some unhappy residents that are tampering with essential infrastructure, yet the police are not doing enough to stop and prevent their acts.

The electricity supply to parts of the Hercules community in Ward 1 and Ward 55 has been tampered with. The DA ward councillors have been on the ground tirelessly facing the acts of terrorism, to show support for their communities and trying restore electricity for the residents even though the infrastructure has been damaged by the strikers. See pictures here, here and here.

The Tshwane coalition MMCs have engaged the community and requested a memorandum with a full list of their grievances that have led to the unlawful and volatile protest that has resulted in a number of cars and houses being damaged by heavy objects. Till this point, no memorandum has been received by the strikers.

The strikers also used petrol bombs which is nothing other than terrorist behaviour.

This is the third day of the strike, yet only seven arrests have been made. Although the police officers and TMPD public order policing were on the scene using rubber bullets to disperse the strikers, they refused to make any further arrests to defuse the situation once and for all.

This afternoon the protest started escalating again when the strikers started looting, vandalizing businesses and torched a truck.

SAPS have driven into the area with a Nyala and proceeded to drive out with no action. This has become a cat and mouse game between SAPS and protestors.

Civil society organisations such as Afriforum have provided SAPS with a drone for the past two days to assist, but SAPS wants the political leadership to assist with resolving the situation instead of doing their job, which is to enforce law and order. SAPS indicated that they will not act without a directive as they don’t want casualties on their hands.

This protest cannot continue any longer. The issues of Gomora require an intergovernmental approach and the DA calls on MEC Lebogang Maile from Cogta to engage the municipality to find a workable solution.

Furthermore, we also demand that the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko provides political direction to ensure that peace is restored in this community that has fallen prey to terrorist acts this entire week.

The MEC must immediately instruct the police to do their job as we cannot afford any more petrol bombs, damage, or further terrorist attacks within this community.