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Protesters in Pretoria burn cars, tires after unnominated man becomes mayoral candidate

Protesters in South Africa's capital burn cars and tires. Representative Image. Photograph: (Getty)

Reuters Pretoria Jun 22, 2016, 04.49 AM (IST)
Protesters burnt vehicles and set tires on fire to barricade roads in South Africa's capital on Tuesday, June 21, after the ANC named a mayoral candidate not nominated by the ruling party's regional branches.

The violence spread overnight from the townships and started after a member of the African National Congress (ANC) was shot dead on Sunday, June 19, as factions clashed at a meeting in Pretoria to decide on the candidates for mayor of Tshwane municipality, where Pretoria is located.

The ANC then named senior party member and former cabinet minister, Thoko Didiza, as its candidate for Tshwane, saying that it made the decision after wrangling between members at the party's headquarters over who should lead the municipality.

According to local media, residents want the incumbent mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa to be allowed to run on the ANC ticket but Ramokgopa has publicly backed Didiza's selection and called for calm.

The ANC said its members were not to blame for the violence.

Local elections in August pose a major test for the ANC as it gears up for a 2019 presidential vote in the face of a slowing economy and a strong challenge from the opposition

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