Tshwane residents have taken to the streets in protest over the decision by the African National Congress (ANC) to present Thoko Didiza as its mayoral candidate for the city.
The reason behind the violent protests has been linked to utterances by residents that a Zulu person from KwaZulu-Natal cannot be brought in to lead them.
“The ANC cannot bring a Zulu person to rule Pedi, Tsongas, Shangaans and Vendas,” a taxi driver lamented.
“What does she know about Pretoria? Where was she born in Pretoria? She must go back to KZN.”
Following the announcement of Didiza Thoko as the ANC’s mayoral candidate for the city, a massive protest erupted in parts of Tshwane on Monday, evolving into massive destruction of private and state-owned properties.
About 19 buses were reportedly burnt on Monday night workers had to be withdrawn from several townships to ensure their safety.
Just when everyone thought it was over, Tshwane residents returned to the streets on Tuesday with a new package of more protests. Chasing away the media, residents also blocked Maunde Street in Atteridgeville with burning tyres and debris.
The protests also resulted in the closure of Darspoort tunnel in Pretoria West, while the N1 has been blocked by protesters where they were reportedly burning cars.
According to a police officer in the area , all lanes at Phumulani Toll Plaza North have been closed.
Speaking on the matter, another taxi driver said on Tuesday that protesting residents wanted Ramokgopa to be the mayoral candidate. But added that the current Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa who is not one of Zuma’s lapdogs was being sidelined because of his criticism of the president.
“Ramokgopa is not one of Zuma’s crooks. He was part of the group that called for Zuma to do the right thing and when he did that, Zuma decided to replace him with one of his own,” the driver said.
Ramokgopa on Monday distanced himself from the violence perpetrated by Tshwane residents.
“I’m distancing myself from any actions of violence. I would never have authorised such actions and it can’t be done in my name,” he said.