Ekurhuleni mayor Tania Campbell issued a statement on Monday, calling for immediate calm and the dissolution of the organised Tembisa shutdown that has, thus far, claimed two lives.
Tania Campbell demands an end to deadly riots
Campbell, who is at the centre of the chaos in the Soweto township on Monday, surfaced in a statement condemning the acts of violence and vandalism that have gripped the Tembisa shutdown.
“I call for calm to immediately be restored in Tembisa. Citizens have the constitutional right to protest, however, such acts of arson and vandalism to public infrastructure will not be tolerated,” she exclaimed
Campbell was expected to appear at a community meeting held on Friday, 29 July 2022, regarding a list of demands submitted by Tembisa residents. However, the mayor was a no-show.
Instead, she’d sent a team of five delegates to oversee the symposium on her behalf, a gesture that was not welcomed by disgruntled residents.
On Monday, trucks and innocent motorists were targeted by large groups of rioters, and key routes in and around the Johannesburg township were blocked off to traffic with burning tyres and rubble.
Campbell, in her statement, confirmed she’s taken the matter up with the Premier of Gauteng “to develop a coordinated approach to the impasse by Government.”
“As a multi-party coalition government, we are concerned that the visuals we are witnessing in Tembisa are no longer community-based, but rather a well-orchestrated operation to render the township ungovernable,” she claimed,
The Ekurhuleni mayor stressed that while evidence has yet to surface to corroborate her claims, she firmly believes “the current destruction of public infrastructure is politically motivated and intended to undermine the progress of the new administration.”
“As a multi-party coalition government, our door has always been open to engage, and we have been engaging with the Tembisa Business Forum as per their memorandum concerns,” she said.
Tembisa shutdown: What are the latest updates?
At the time this article was published, neither Campbell nor representatives from the City of Ekurhuleni had engaged disgruntled Tembisa residents.
From what we understand, a number of key routes remain closed off to traffic and, as reported by eNCA, at least two protesters died in a violent clash with Ekurhuleni law enforcement officials.
Follow our live updates on the Tembisa shutdown for the latest developments.