Chaos Erupts As Tshwane Unrest Continues

Looting, destruction and chaos in Tshwane

Chaos has erupted in the capital city of Tshwane with unrest and looting centred around the announcement of mayoral candidate, Thoko Didiza ahead of municipal elections. But why is there so much violence? We investigate.

Tshwane unrest

Dr. Jakkie Cilliers from the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) said people are protesting as they are desperate and “everything depends on them winning or losing a counsellor or mayoral seat. It shows that politics has become the root of everything and the gatekeeper to wealth and privilege in South Africa – and this is a bad spot to be in”.

Several buildings such as schools and two shopping malls have been burned whilst looting of foreign-owned shops have continued in Ga- Rankuwa and Mabopane. Tension is indeed simmering as disgruntled citizens demonstrate their anger.

Cilliers outlined some of the fundamental problems saying, “It shows the extent to which the ANC has lost the model high ground. We need leadership in this country, one of the challenges is that nobody apparently is in charge.”

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The violent actions of protesters are a part of a bigger societal problem in South Africa and would be a “mistake if we contained this to the ANC because it is the largest party, here we are seeing a societal problem,” says political analyst Dr. Somadoda Fikeni.

Fikeni also mentions that the violence is not limited to Tshwane and has been seen across the country where people are divided over candidate lists. The violence is “beginning to show itself in the form of political assassinations.”

Countless shops and buildings have been damaged as a result of the

Tshwane: Truck on Fire

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SABC remains tight-lipped 

The SABC has taken a backseat with little to no coverage on the epidemic. Their article, 

Media Monitoring Africa has described the SABC’s decision as censorship and deliberate. They also said that the way SABC had chosen to showcase the epidemic had not given the viewer a sense of what was actually happening at the scene.

According to SABC COO, Hlaudi Motsoneng, the policy to refrain from showing violent images of protests was set in place as a preventative measure against more violence.

Director of Media Monitoring Africa, William Bird comments, “It wasn’t as though this just sprung up out of the blue. If every other media house in the country was there and reporting on it, then on how earth did they manage to miss it? If it was a sheer lack of initiative, then that would be even greater cause for alarm but I don’t buy it.”

Tshwane Protests

Many residents in the area feel like the ANC have taken them for grant and referenced the Freedom Charter.
“They said the people will govern (in the Charter) but now they are governing us and that is very wrong. They are where they are because of us.”

Disgruntled residents have said they are seriously considering taking their vote to the DA, “No Sputla, no vote. If they remove Sputla then we will take our votes to the DA.”

Police have confirmed two deaths last night in Mamelodi and 40 arrests as a result of the violence.


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