A man met his untimely death after being hit by a truck during a service delivery protest near Ulana and Jerusalem informal settlements in Boksburg on Tuesday.
It’s alleged that the truck driver lost control of his vehicle after protesters pelted it with stones and other objects. The truck hit a pedestrian who was walking nearby and was not even part of the protest. He died instantly.
Ekurhuleni Metro Police spokesman Kobedi Mokheseng said the truck had turned into Wit Deep Road from Main Reef Road when it was stopped by the protesters and turned away. “He made a u-turn and as he began to drive away they allegedly threw stones at the truck.
“He was hit in the head by some stones and lost control of the vehicle,” Mokheseng explained.
“He veered off the road and hit the pedestrian. The man was certified dead at the scene,” he added. The driver was also injured and treated at the scene.
Mokheseng said at least 60 families had been left stranded after their homes flooded in Ulana on Monday night during heavy rains and that led to Tuesday’s protest.
“An additional 10 families were displaced when a tree fell on their structures in nearby Jerusalem informal settlement,” Kobedi added.
Speaking on behalf of Ekurhuleni executive mayor Mzwandile Masina, spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said Masina was saddened by Tuesday’s protest-related death.
“Although protests are a constitutional right, Mayor Masina is pleading with protesters to respect others’ lives and property,”
“The mayor has made a passionate plea for peaceful protests if residents are to so,” he said.
On Tuesday afternoon member of the mayoral committee for Human Settlements, Lesiba Mpya visited the areas affected by the flash flooding.
At the scene he told residents that they would be relocating the families who lived in the low lying area in Ulana to nearby council-owned land.
“This is a temporary gesture but it is better than risking losing lives in the process. “With regards to the Jerusalem situation, we have organised a service provider to remove the tree and help rebuild the structures immediately,” said Mpya, following his visit.
Dlamini said the process of relocation would take place from Wednesday after data of the affected families was compiled by municipal authorities and community leaders in Ulana.
In the meantime Dlamini said that the city would provide emergency relief in the form of food and blankets to those affected.