Police fired rubber bullets and live rounds at looters in a mall north of Pretoria last night where two bodies were discovered earlier bringing the death toll in pre-election violence in the South African capital this week to five.
The violence dashed hopes that order was returning to the streets after protests against the ANC leadership naming a Zulu mayoral candidate for local elections in August.
Mabopane north of Pretoria has been a hotbed of violence since Sunday, with protestors burning buses and looting foreign owned shops.
ANC Mayoral candidate Thoko Didiza, a former cabinet minister, insists she’s not the reason for the unrest.
Originally from KwaZulu/Natal she has been made to feel welcome since taking up home in Pretoria more than a decade ago.
She’s never felt foreign in the capital and is convinced the violence following her nomination does not reflect the feelings of the community.
Once again last night police were engaged in running battles with residents who turned to looting.
They’re demanding the incumbent Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa be retained.
State Security Minister David Mahlobo says the violent protests have been well planned and coordinated.
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa Nqakula says law enforcement agencies won’t allow anarchists and gangsters to take over the capital.
Authorities have denied reports that police were under resourced in facing the demonstrators.