Coloured people are ‘tired of what is going on’‚ say Eldorado Park residents

Residents block off the road with tyres in Ennerdale, south of Johannesburg, during a protest over crime, drugs and gangsterism in the area.
Residents block off the road with tyres in Ennerdale, south of Johannesburg, during a protest over crime, drugs and gangsterism in the area.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

The marginalisation of coloured people in South Africa must stop.

This is the sentiment expressed by residents of Eldorado Park‚ Johannesburg‚ who took to the Golden Highway in protest on Friday‚ barricading the road and burning tyres to express their anger and frustration.

One resident‚ Jerome Lottering‚ said‚ “Coloured people are tired of what is going on in the new South Africa. We can see how black communities are developing‚ but in our communities nothing happens‚ and we must just be content and accept how this government is leaving us behind.

“Enough is enough now.

“Government must come to the party and sit and talk to us. We’ve had it.”

Friday’s protest was part of a series of planned demonstrations under the banner of “Total Shutdown” across various coloured communities. The protest action was sparked by the killing of a woman in an alleged gang shooting in Westbury last week.

Community activist Romila Harris was among the protesters.

“I am tired that a woman had to die in Westbury for us to cause an uprising. I am tired of government not listening to the plight of women and children‚” Harris said.

Harris said the protests were legitimate.

“This is my dream: to bring South Africa to a standstill‚ to its knees‚ for the government to take us seriously‚ so that women and children can live peacefully‚” she said.

Rubern du Plessis‚ a man wearing a khoisan attire‚ led the march from the front. He could be heard shouting “enough is enough” on several occasions.

“Ours is a peaceful protest. We just want the government to take us seriously and listen our grievances‚” he said.

Du Plessis said the community wanted to be addressed by President Cyril Ramaphosa and police minister Bheki Cele — and threatened that they would embark on another march if the paid did not visit the community within a month.

“We want Bheki Cele to do what he did in Westbury. He must come talk to us‚ and we want Amaberete‚” Du Plessis said‚ referring to the police’s Tactical Response Team which Cele deployed to Westbury on Thursday to take on gang and drug lords.

“I lost my 8-year-old child to drug lords and one is too many. I cannot sit down and watch youngsters lose their lives on drugs and drug lords‚” Du Plessis said.

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