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This is now organised crime: City of Tshwane fumes over attacks

Some of the streets in Tshwane are used as rubbish dumps amid the rolling protest action.
Some of the streets in Tshwane are used as rubbish dumps amid the rolling protest action.
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

The loss of six metro vehicles to violence on Wednesday has been labelled as organised crime by City of Tshwane MMC for community safety Grandi Theunissen.

Protest action has been rumbling in the capital city since July, with some workers downing tools or working on go-slows over the disputed implementation of a wage agreement deal.

“It is clear we are no longer dealing with an illegal strike action, we are now dealing with a well-co-ordinated criminal attack against the city,” he said.

“What started as sporadic acts of violence linked to the illegal strike action has now escalated into what the coalition government believes is organised violence aimed at destabilising Tshwane by attacking the city, its property, and its employees.”

A City of Tshwane bakkie, a water truck, three trucks from water & sanitation and an A Re Yeng bus were damaged in various violent incidents in the Pretoria CBD on Wednesday. Four of these vehicles were subsequently torched, he said. A city employee was assaulted during one of these incidents and is in a serious condition in hospital.

“These actions are downright criminal and completely unacceptable. What we need now is decisive police intervention and action to identify, trace, arrest, and prosecute the culprits who have put city property, service delivery for our residents, and the lives of the city’s employees at risk.”

Mayor Cilliers Brink has asked the Tshwane Metro Police Department to approach the national government for assistance in containing the situation from the security cluster.

The city's bus services have been temporarily withdrawn and waste removal services are operating under TMPD escort for fear of attacks.

TimesLIVE

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