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2011-07-11: Arrest of more than 20 ringleaders demonstrates swift action against vandals.

The City of Johannesburg welcomes the rapid progress made in the prosecution of suspects involved in violent attacks on homes and the destruction of public property in Chiawelo.

More than 20 people appeared in the Protea Magistrates Court today on charges of arson, malicious damage to property, attempted murder and public violence. They were remanded in custody until their next court appearance on 15 July.

The Acting Mayor of Johannesburg, Clr Matshidiso Mfikoe, says the arrest and appearance of the suspects are proof of the City’s commitment to take decisive action against incidents of violence, intimidation and vandalism.

This follows incidents in Chiawelo where the home of a councilor was attacked and set alight and substations and other electricity infrastructure destroyed.

“We are pleased to note the progress made with the investigation as well as the decision by the court not to grant them bail,” says Clr Mfikoe. “This will send a clear message to other vandals to refrain from illegal action.”

She says the City and Eskom have moved quickly to restore power to the majority of residents who have been cut off during the coldest week of the winter. More than 600 households who pay for their electricity were quickly reconnected.

The City also met with community members of Chiawelo to discuss issues related to electricity.

“There is a very small minority of ringleaders responsible for the damage.  More than 90% of Chiawelo residents are paying for their electricity – and we will ensure that they receive the services they are entitled to” says Clr Mfikoe.  



Issued by: City of Johannesburg

Nthatisi Modingoane
Deputy Director: Communications
Tel: (011) 407 7354
Fax: 403 3494
Cell: 082 467 9228