FANS PROTEST IN SOUTH AFRICA
South African township residents barricaded roads in Soweto on Wednesday, the latest in a series of protests over living conditions that have hit the country less than 100 days before the soccer World Cup.
Police said about 1,000 people demanding housing demonstrated in the township near Johannesburg, blocking roads with large rocks close to the venue for the opening and final game of the tournament.
“Police went to the scene and they talked to the crowd and they dispersed,” police spokeswoman Katlego Mogale said. “The police are keeping an eye on the situation.”
Poor shanty town residents have burnt tyres and buildings and police have responded with rubber bullets and water cannons in protests over the past year, in scenes reminiscent of the apartheid era.
Protests in Soweto during apartheid made it a symbol of resistance to white minority rule.
A policeman was shot last week and scores of people arrested when protests turned violent in several Johannesburg townships.
The protests have spread. This week, they reached the capital Pretoria, where demonstrators demanding better housing, schools, roads and sewage systems threatened to disrupt the World Cup, which starts in June.