Pretoria – At least two people were killed during violent protests in Hammanskraal on Monday.
“Two people are dead and six injured. There are no arrests at this stage,” Tshwane Metro Police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said.
He could not, however, confirm reports that the death toll was between six and nine. Sources in the area said more than two people were killed.
A source told News24 that the clashes started when the so-called Red Ants, a security company that executes eviction notices, arrived.
“Red Ants were sent to evict people occupying land in Dilopye, but the residents were not having it. They started clashing with them, resulting in all of the violence,” said the source.
Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa condemned the protest and said he was concerned by the violence, loss of property, and human rights violations when evictions were carried out.
Even “ungovernable citizens” should be treated with respect rather than punished, he said.
He said government and the Red Ants had recently agreed to ensure that all future evictions respected the rights of residents, especially the elderly, women, children, and the disabled.
He criticised “some political parties” for inciting vulnerable groups to defy court orders.