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‘Shutdown’ protests spread to Ennerdale

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Protests flared up in Ennerdale, Johannesburg on Friday morning, in the wake of talks to broker a truce in Westbury.

“They are burning tyres,” Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD)’s Senior Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said on Friday.

“They are in solidarity with Westbury,” said Minnaar of initial reports received from the scene.

The protests in Westbury this week followed the death of Heather Peterson, who was killed in the crossfire of a shooting while walking her son home from school last week. She died with his report card in her hand, News24 reported earlier.

Minnaar said officers were on-scene to monitor the situation, and were establishing communication lines with protesters.

The protests were positioned near the N3 exit point towards Ennerdale from the Golden Highway.

Police Minister Bheki Cele addressed residents of Westbury on Thursday and promised to bring in a tactical team in an effort to tackle crime.

Cele also held a low-key private meeting with protest group representatives in Cape Town on Wednesday night, following similar “shutdown” protests there recently.

Activists of the Cape Town Total Shutdown movement also expressed support for the Johannesburg actions in a statement of solidarity on Thursday.

“As the Western Cape #TotalShutdown, we note that various communities in various provinces are gathering to discuss and or plan for #TotalShutdowns in their areas and we wish to salute you for doing this,” said one of the protest organisers Henriette Abrahams.

The Cape Town wing has compiled a list of demands, which include that the eight people arrested in Westbury be released, and that a “Working Class” summit be held in November.

They also demanded the re-education of police officers on protest-related laws, claiming “heavy handedness” in the way they are treated when they protest.

Cele’s spokesperson Reneilwe Serero said of the Cape Town meeting that an inter-ministerial committee will be set up to address broader issues raised by the Total Shutdown group.

“There was an agreement on having a summit, details around this will be communicated in due course,” she said.

[Source: News24]
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