Police fired live ammunition at violent protesters in the Wesselton informal settlement near Ermelo, they confirmed on Tuesday.
“We did not hurt anyone. We needed to safeguard people’s lives,” said Captain Leonard Hlathi.
He said police had to act in this way as the protesters were also using live rounds.
Hlathi said police had fired at walls because they had needed to safeguard police and journalists’ vehicles.
He said police reinforcements were arriving at the scene from Hazyview and the head office in Pretoria on Tuesday afternoon.
Hlathi said 33 people were arrested in connection with public violence on Monday. They appeared in the Ermelo Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday and were granted R200 bail each. The case was postponed to March 8.
Another 11 people were arrested on Tuesday, eight of them minors.
“No schools and no operations are taking place at the moment. The township has come to a standstill,” he said. –