Diepsloot calm after violent weekend

By Edwin Tshivhidzo

Diepsloot - The situation in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, is reported to be calm on Monday after violent protests broke out at the weekend.

Angry residents set vehicles on fire, damaged property and stoned passing motorists and police vehicles. They also barricaded roads with burning rubble and portable toilets.

In a bid to save motorists from the angry mob, police closed the R511 and advised motorists to use the N14 to Roodeport as an alternative route. The road has since been reopened.

According to City of Johannesburg spokesperson Nthathisi Modingoane, the residents began protesting when they heard rumours that they were to be relocated to Brits.

However, he explained that this was not the case.

Explaining the situation, Mr Modingoane said about 320 families are to be relocated to a nearby location, which is still within the Diepsloot area, to make way for the upgrading of an underground sewage system.

He said the residents had built their shacks illegally on top of the current sewage system.

"It is illegal to build on top of a sewage system, it cannot be allowed. The plan is that for all the people who will be relocated, houses will be built for them, according to the list which is currently available," he said.

Johannesburg Metro Police Department spokesperson Senior Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said a number of people have been arrested for causing damage to property.

He told BuaNews that although the situation was currently calm, police were still in the area and monitoring the situation.

"We will continue to monitor the situation ensuring that the lives of people and property are protected," said Senior Superintendent Minnaar.

Most of the Diepsloot community members were initially removed from Alexandra in Johannesburg in 2000 to Diepsloot, after the Jukskei River flooded. - BuaNews