DA lays into Dlamini-Zuma after 'accusing' party of instigating Mahikeng protests

Tanya Simon
April 22, 2018

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks during the Commonwealth Business Forum Banquet at the Guildhall in London April 17, 2018.

The protests turned violent on Thursday as protesters in the township of Mahikeng went on a rampage looting foreign owned shops, prompting police to use teargas and fire rubber bullets to control the situation.

They are calling for the "resignation of provincial Premier Supra Mahumapelo - a member of Mr Ramaphosa's governing African National Congress (ANC)" the BBC reports.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has cut short his attendance at the Commonwealth summit in London to deal with violent protests at home.

Shops have been looted, roads barricaded and vehicles set alight. He also called in a statement for "all aggrieved parties to express their grievances through peaceful means and engagement rather than violence and anarchy". At least 23 people were arrested and one man was reported to have died in sporadic violence that erupted during the week in Mahikeng, the provincial capital.

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Maimane says should the ANC fail to ensure Mahumapelo's exit from the province's premiership, a motion of no confidence awaits him at the provincial legislature.

Taking to Twitter on Saturday morning, Dlamini-Zuma said she had received news from anonymous community members who claimed that DA members in North West were bribing some protesters to cause chaos in the province, but she later deleted the tweet. "We asked for reinforcement from other provinces and head offices".

He was due to address an urgent meeting in Mahikeng at 12pm (1000 GMT/6pm Malaysian time) alongside other senior ANC officials.

South Africa's faltering economy has been a priority for Mr Ramaphosa since he took over from former President Jacob Zuma.

Protesters seeking jobs, better housing, roads and hospitals frequently clash with police in a country faced with weak economic growth and near-record unemployment - but these are the first big demonstrations since Ramaphosa took power in February.

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