- Johannesburg CBD has been plagued with protests this week
- Video footage of the street battle between the police and street vendors surfaced online
- The video showed the cops retreating to avoid a "bloodbath", according to the SAPS
The Gauteng government has embarked on a mission to cleanse the city of illegal activities. However, the raids of hijacked buildings and illegal street vendors have cause havoc in Jozi.
Video footage has surfaced on social media which showed the extent of the violent outburst in Johannesburg and police were seen fleeing the scene.
However, according to Times LIVE, Gauteng SAPS spokesperson, Brigadier Mathapelo Peters, the retreat was "tactical".
Peters said the police were met with extreme violence, as protesters were seen hurling bricks, stones and petrol bombs at the officers and armoured vehicles.
Briefly.co.za learned that according to Peters, if the cops had not retreated, they would have been forced to use live ammunition.
"Due to the volatility of the situation, police retreated to avoid a situation where they would be forced to use live ammunition," Peters said in a statement, adding: "Priority at this point was ensuring that there was no bloodshed or death."
Gauteng Premier David Makhura took to social media to express his frustrations with "foreign nationals" selling counterfeit goods in Jozi.
"Some foreign nationals who sell counterfeit goods and occupy buildings illegally in the Joburg CBD attacked our police with bottles and petrol bombs. This despicable crime against our state will never be tolerated. #OkaeMolao will respond in full force to defend rule of law," he said.
The footage sparked outrage on social media and South Africans called on the police to do whatever it took - even if it meant death.
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