The leadership of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress is in emergency meeting this after noon following violence that closed the arterial highway to the north and turned large parts of the capital into no-go zones.
The fallout is over the announcement of the party’s mayoral candidate for greater Pretoria are known as Tshwane.
Police leave has been cancelled in Pretoria and officers‚have been drafted in from other areas to quell the violence that has seen at least 21 buses torched‚ foreign-owned business ransacked and roads into the townships barricaded making it impossible for hundreds of thousands of people to get to work.
Journalists covering the unrest have been threatened.
Police have been engaged in running battles with protestors determined to block off townships to the east and west of Pretoria.
Police denied accusations that they had seriously underestimated the extent of the anger after the ANC
imposed a Zulu candidate, former cabinet minister Thoko Didiza on the Pretoria electorate
They say the ANC cannot bring a Zulu person to rule Pedi, Tsongas, Shangaans and Vendas.
ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa says tribalism has no place in ANC politics.
Pretostors are saying they will burn down the capital if incumbent mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa is not allowed to keep his job after local elections in early August.