5th September, 1984 : South Africa’s new constitution, which came into effect two days ago, and gives limited political power to Asians and coloureds of mixed race, but has nothing for blacks, was marked by violent rioting in five black townships outside Johannesburg. The death toll has risen to 29 overnight. In Sharpesville, the Deputy Mayor of the township, Mr Sam Dlamini, was hacked to death by a mob of youths, doused in petrol and burned. Some observers say the riots are a protest against rent increases and poor educational facilities.

 [ Thirty years later -south-africa-riots1

April 2014Police used a water cannon and stun grenades to disperse rioters in South Africa’s strike-hit platinum belt on Sunday after a government minister was attacked by rock-throwing protesters while campaigning for the May 7 elections.

The riot is the latest in a series of strikes for higher pay that has claimed dozens of victims since 2012, when police shot and killed more than 30 workers in the Marikana massacre. The incident further undermined the ruling African National Congress’ commitment to supporting the country’s working class, and strife has continued as a union opposed to the ANC gains power. .. Police spokesman Thulani Ngubane told Reuters that a community hall, municipal center and the house of a councilor for the ANC were burned down. He would not identify the rioters, but local media and union leaders said the minister was  attacked by members of the AMCU. … Sydwell Dokolwana, the regional secretary for the NUM, a close ally of the ruling party, told Reuters that he was with the minister at the time and that several people were hurt in the scuffle. “There was a group of about 100 guys with AMCU shirts. We had to run for our lives,” he told Reuters. “They said they would only allow us to campaign if the ANC assisted them in getting $1,200,” he said. … Households and local businesses are struggling as the miners have collectively lost almost $660 million in wages, according to an industry website that constantly updates the tally.

South Africa on Sunday marked two decades of multiracial democracy, 10 days before elections that are expected to keep the ANC in power. / Al Jazeera and Reuters

May 2014 – Alexandra Township, north of Johannesburg, South Africa exploded into riots after the final election results were announced. Alexandra Township is home to more than 30,000 people. The township is one of the poorest urban areas in South Africa, and borders the wealthy, up-market areas of Sandton, Wynberg and Malboro.

Police and Metro officers were positioned in Alexandra to stop the protests. Police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse crowds rioting over the final election results. A large contingent of the South African Army was deployed to the township in an attempt to assist the police stop the riots. .. The aftermath of destruction continued as an IEC Voting Centre was set alight. The Inkatha Freedom Fighters (IFP) lost significant support in the 2014 election, and the Zulu support base is the main contributor of this party. Alexandra has experienced clashes between the African National Congress (ANC) and IFP in the past. IFP supporters threw stones, looted shops and burnt tires after barricading a road. According to reports, about 59 people have been arrested for public violence. .. The sudden riots which erupted after the South Africa final election results gives another indication of total frustration by the citizens of the country.” Read more at ]

About Avadoro Worden

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