As South Africans protest the high cost of electricity, two people are reportedly killed
Police officials said that two individuals were killed in two suspected police shootings on Monday amid demonstrations against the price of energy in a South African town.
Residents of Thembisa township, which is northeast of Johannesburg‘s financial district, blocked roads with burning tires and set fire to a municipal facility in protest at the exorbitant cost of essential services.
According to local municipal police spokeswoman Kelebogile Thepa, “two fatal injuries” were related to “the protest action that occurred during the early hours of today morning.”
According to reports, they were shot, she told AFP.
Earlier, an official from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate’s monitoring organization told AFP that the organization had documented an instance of shooting “by a member of the police.”
Investigative work is under progress.
In South Africa, which has some of the highest unemployment and crime rates in the world, protests against subpar services are common.
The most recent round of protests started when former president Thabo Mbeki issued a warning that escalating unrest may lead to a national insurrection akin to the Arab Spring.
Mbeki accused Cyril Ramaphosa, his successor, of breaking his commitments to address widespread poverty, inequality, and unemployment, which currently stands at over 34.5 percent, with youth unemployment at about 64 percent, last month.
The greatest violence that South Africa has encountered since the end of the apartheid era three decades ago broke out a year ago. More than 350 people were killed during the extensive riots and looting.
Following the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma for ignoring graft investigators, there were ten days of riots.