UPDATE: Protesters remain behind bars after dousing Pikitup manager with petrol, threatening to set him alight

The five suspects who allegedly doused a Pikitup manager with petrol and threatened to set him alight were denied bail in the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court.

Read: Five suspects cuffed for allegedly dousing Pikitup manager with petrol, threatening to set him alight

The men are part of a group of contract workers who have been picketing outside Pikitup’s head office in Braamfontein since 3 September. The protestors are demanding their jobs back that they claim they have been fighting for since 2010.

The suspects were arrested by the Hillbrow police on 6 September and they appeared briefly in the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court on 10 September. They appeared in the same court the next day and their bail application was denied, according to Hillbrow police spokesperson, Sergeant Mduduzi Zondo.

“Their formal bail application was denied by the court and they have been remanded again into police custody until they appear again on 17 September,” said Zondo.

“The five have been charged with attempted murder and they are expected back again in court 14. The five will be transferred to the Johannesburg Prison to await trial.”

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City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has condemned the attack on Pikitup staff and even suggested that the protests are a political ploy by his detractors to destabilise the City.

As reported in the article Picket at Pikitup, Week ending 14 September, Mashaba claimed that they ‘received intelligence that former temporary contract workers are being approached by political forces in an effort to instigate instability within the City’s cleaning services’.

Welcoming the court’s decision to deny the suspects bail, Mashaba said, “The City is pleased that the court has seen fit to keep these dangerous criminals off the streets and send a message that wanton lawlessness and violence won’t be tolerated in our society.

“The Metro police, alongside other law enforcement authorities, are hot on the trail of other protestors involved in disrupting services and targeting acts of violence against Pikitup property.”

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Mashaba added that the City would continue to engage with law enforcement authorities to provide the support needed to secure convictions of these violent protestors.
He expressed his appreciation to workers across Pikitup for their efforts in providing services to the residents of Johannesburg under difficult conditions.

“I would also like to thank residents for their continued support and patience while Pikitup and the City work towards normalising service delivery following disruptions caused by protests.”

Details: Mduduzi Zondo 082 850 7974.

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