The Citizen

3 April 2015 10.52 am

Following violent protests in Thembelihle informal settlement near Lenasia last month, residents led by the Thembelihle Crisis Committee will picket today against the undeclared, unofficial state of emergency experienced in the area.

According to the Right2Know campaign (R2K), the police “siege from 25 February involved deployment of various heavily armed police units including, Johannesburg Metro Police Department, Tactical Response Team, Crime Intelligence Unit over and above the Public Order Policing Unit amongst others.”

“During the clampdown, gross human rights violations have been experienced in the very same month marked for the celebration of human rights,” said R2K.

This has led to the picket which will take place opposite the police station in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg.

“The community feels strongly that the SAPS should account for their transgressions and the picket will serve as a stepping stone towards a broader campaign to have those responsible brought to account for such unwarranted actions,” R2K added.

The picket will be supported by the R2K, the United Front and the Democratic Left Front.

“The siege will not stop the determination of Thembelihle residents to have the Gauteng MEC for Housing come to our community and account as per his long-promised commitments,” the crisis committee said.

FILE PICTURE: Protesting Thembelihle residents throw stones at the police as members of the SAPS and JMPD attempt to disperse them, 26 February 2015. Thembelihle residents took to the streets after a Lenasia man shot two protesters on Wednesday night who were threatening to burn electricity boxes in the suburb. The man was arrested. Twenty protesters were later arrested for public violence. Picture: Michel Bega

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