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Update: ‘They undermine Eldos’ – says a protester

The situation in Eldorado Park remains tense as protesters engage in a fierce standoff with police.

Residents from Eldorado Park, Slovo Park, Freedom Park, Klipspruit West, Orange Farm and as far afield as Ennerdale have embarked in protest action to give vent to their frustration at the lack of housing and jobs.

The air is filled with the acrid smell of teargas as police square off with protesting residents who have barricaded roads with burning tyres, making the area a virtual no-go zone as motorists are unable to leave or enter Eldorado Park.

In what residents say is an unnecessarily heavy-handed response to the protests by police, rubber bullets are being fired in an attempt to disperse the crowds.

WATCH:

Police in riot gear fired at rock-throwing rioters as well as at curious bystanders eager to get a first-hand account of the chaotic scenes unfolding before their eyes.

A protester, with rocks in hand, said, ‘Hulle undermine vir Eldos vir ‘n baie lang tyd en ons is not baie moeg. Wanneer gaan ons werk end huise kry?’

Translated into English: ‘They have been undermining Eldos for a long time now and we are tired. When are we going to get jobs and houses?

He added, “The DA is doing nothing for us and we will no longer be voting for them.”

“This statement seems to be the prevailing sentiment as Ward 17 councillor, Peter Rafferty faced threats that his house would be burnt down.”

According to reports, Rafferty has laid charges at the Eldorado Park Police Station as the situation threatens to spiral out of control.

Protesters stoning casspirs deployed to bring calm to the volatile area are being met with rubber bullets and teargas fired from moving nyalas.

Residents have denounced police response to the protest, saying that police are firing indiscriminately at bystanders.

The Eldorado Urban News reporter, on the scene to capture events, was hit by a rubber bullet fired from a passing casspir as he crouched to take pictures.

Meanwhile, police helicopters are circling the area and firing teargas canisters from the air.

Schools in the area are closed for the day and learners have been sent home.

Running battles between rock-throwing protesters and police continue as rioters insist on having their voices heard.

Related Story: Just in: Greater Eldorado Park on strike

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Enver Wessels

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