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Shops Looted, Roads Barricaded as South African Protests Spread

  • Police fire rubber bullers to disperse protest in Pretoria
  • Poor communities unhappy about lack of housing, electricity

Protests in South Africa over a lack of access to housing, water and electricity that erupted in Johannesburg at the start of the week spread to parts of the capital, Pretoria, with police firing rubber bullets at a group who looted shops, barricaded roads and set tires and trash bins alight.

Several people who joined the demonstrations in the Laudium township, southwest of Pretoria, were arrested and will face charges of public violence, Isaac Mahamba, a senior superintendent for the metropolitan police force, said Wednesday by phone. While the crowds dispersed after being addressed by city officials, the police remain on high alert, he said.