On Wednesday morning, protesters set fires and battled with police officers in the wealthy Sandton suburb of Gauteng. The economic hub was severely disrupted, prompting the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) to issue a warning to motorists.
Officers that came on the site appear to have already calmed the situation, however, they were welcomed with hostility. A group of irate individuals was spotted attacking a police car, and one cop was caught up in the commotion. We were able to acquire some critical information on the protest, which sheds more light on these worrisome circumstances:
- The protest action took place on Benmore and Lower Roads.
- One eyewitness told the Sandton Chronicle they saw protesters throwing rocks at a JMPD vehicle.
- It’s also understood that a security guard was attacked, and required assistance from paramedics
- A fire was set outside a building that is undergoing construction.
- The unrest is allegedly due to a dispute over worker wages.
- A number of videos, purportedly showing violent clashes between police and citizens, have surfaced online.
#ProtestAction Reports of violent protests in Sandton, Gauteng. Please be careful and avoid the area.. @BOSBEER2006 @1SecondLater @EWNTraffic @netstartraffic @SALTruckers @MARIUSBROODRYK @SAPoliceService @News24 @eNCA pic.twitter.com/qEdmwDsM8I
— BOSBEER.COM (@BOSBEER2006) July 28, 2021
— RiotReportSA (@RiotReportSA) July 28, 2021
Gauteng remains on high alert, following the chaotic riots that engulfed the province earlier this month. Widespread violence and looting, which initially started in KwaZulu-Natal, crossed the territorial border and brought destruction to regions of Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Alexandra. Sandton, however, fell back into the firing line today.
According to JMPD sources, the unrest has now been quelled, and traffic is free to flow through Sandton – however, that comes with an extra caveat: Officers have warned commuters in this region to ‘exercise caution’.