Tuesday, 21 June 2016


TWENTY-ONE Zimbabweans travelling to Johannesburg, South Africa, escaped death by a whisker after they were attacked and robbed of their valuables by violent protesters 40km outside Pretoria along the N1 Highway yesterday morning.

Some criminal elements that could have hijacked the protests, also burnt to a shell an Eagle Liner bus the Zimbabweans were travelling in after stripping the hapless passengers of their valuables.
One of the passengers sustained injuries when he was hit with a stone as the bus made a U-turn in front of the charging protesters.

Deputy South African President Mr Cyril Ramaphosa cautioned against tribalism attacks that erupted in the Tshwane metro. The Zimbabweans were attacked around 3:30am. The bus was travelling from Bulawayo to Johannesburg in Gauteng Province.

The protesters, unhappy about the ruling ANC’s nomination of former minister Thoko Didiza as mayoral candidate, set fire to buildings and overturned vehicles belonging to both South Africans and foreigners in and around Tshwane since Monday.

Didiza, born in KwaZulu-Natal, was nominated to replace the incumbent and protesters’ favourite candidate Kgosietso Sipulta Ramakgopa.

Eagle Liner proprietor Mr Dhalib Ishemeal, said the victims had taken refuge at Hammanskraal police station since the situation was still volatile. “All the 21 passengers are now safe and we are waiting for the police to calm the situation. We also heard that there was another bus from another company, which was also burnt down as well. This is very unfortunate,” said Mr Ishemeal.
Sources in Pretoria said haulage trucks and other vehicles, which use the same route were burnt near Zebediela.

It is understood that residents of Tshwane took to the streets protesting a decision by the ruling ANC to name Thoko Didiza as the party’s mayoral candidate in the forthcoming local government elections.


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