WASP condemns the police murder of Tshwane street trader, calls for protests

The Workers and Socialist Party (WASP) condemns the murder of Tshwane street trader Foster Jan Rivombo by a Tshwane Metro Police officer on Wednesday. This is yet another attack in the war which the government is waging against poor working class people. From Tshwane to Johannesburg, the poor are punished for trying to make a living by selling on the streets when there are no jobs. From Marikana to de Doorns, workers are attacked for organising for living wages. It is high time that working class people across the country unite to put an end to the brutality. WASP is engaging with hawker organisations in Tshwane and elsewhere to organise a united response to this outrage.

Rivombo was shot at point blank range by Metro Police officer on Wednesday after he refused to hand over his stock of bananas and apples. The police officer is still on duty. Four hawkers, meanwhile are appearing in court today after they were arrested when demanding that an ambulance be called (the police only called an ambulance after three hours, having taken Rivombo into a bakkie immediately after shooting him).

The murder took place during the City of Tshwane’s supposed ‘Operation I Can’ which has been in effect since 2012. While the City claims the operation makes the city cleaner and reduces crime, for the hawkers who try to make an honest living in the context of mass unemployment it means being the victims of state-sanctioned corruption, crime and murder.

–      WASP demands that the police officer who was witnessed murdering Rivombo is arrested immediately, says Elmond Magedi, WASP Tshwane organiser.

–      We also demand the immediate release of the four hawkers who were arrested at the time of the shooting.

–      WASP calls for an end to Operation I Can, for the police to immediately stop its assaults, harassment and extortion of bribes.

–       We call on Tshwane hawkers to unite with hawkers across Gauteng and SA, who are facing the same oppression, and will be engaging the hawker organisations we are close to organise joint protests, says Liv Shange, WASP spokesperson.

The Workers and Socialist Party has recently played a leading role in the street traders’ struggle against the City of Johannesburg’s mass forced removal of hawkers which led to a victory in the Constitutional Court on December 5.