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Metro cops smash vendors' stands

By unknown | Mar 10, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Ntwaagae Seleka

Ntwaagae Seleka

There was chaos yesterday when Johannesburg Metro police officers demolished stands erected by street vendors outside a train station in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg.

The vendors said Metro cops arrived in a fleet of vehicles and destroyed their stands.

Roselina Thwala, 64, who sells cow heads and offal, said she was at home when the raid started.

Colleagues phoned her and told her to hurry to the station.

"They told me that my stand was being vandalised and set alight," Thwala said. "When I arrived I was greeted by a blaze."

She said some of the other traders' stock was scattered around.

"Fortunately I do not sell on Sundays, otherwise I don't know what would have happened to the meat I sell."

She said she would make a plan to continue with her trading to support her eight grandchildren.

Another vendor, Philemon Mhlanga, 36, said he was also thinking of a plan to continue with his business.

Mhlanga, who sells vegetables and fruit, said it was business as usual until the Metro police officers arrived.

"They told me that the municipality had long warned us not to trade under corrugated iron shelters." Mhlanga said. "They threw away my stock and vandalised my stand while I stood watching helplessly."

Mhlanga said he would continue trading there despite the Metro police's action.

He said the officers told them that they should erect tents that they could dismantle at the end of business every day.

When the Sowetan team arrived on the scene some wooden poles were still burning, and the traders were picking up their scattered goods.

Metro police spokesman Inspector Edna Mamonyane said the vendors had failed to comply with municipality's by-laws.

She said they would monitor the area to ensure that the by-laws were not violated.


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