7 Mar 2011

Union official killed at protest

Pretoria, South Africa
The municipal strike in Tshwane took a violent turn yesterday when a union leader was killed during a scuffle with police. The official was among more than 1,000 Tshwane municipal bus service and waste removal workers who marched to the the city's bus depot demanding that the municipality make public a report into allegations of corruption among top officials.
According to the municipality's spokesperson Willie Baloyi "They were told that the gathering was illegal but they refused to disperse. They started vandalising the offices, breaking windows and doors. They went on to throw stones at passing vehicles... We then used rubber bullets to disperse them". 
Veli Kubheka, speaking for the strikers' union Samwu, confirmed that a union official was killed during the standoff. He added "Our members were not violent at all and were shot at because they were in an illegal gathering... We condemn the metro police's strong-handedness on harmless protesters. They should have arrested them instead of opening fire on them".

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