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In rarely seen CCTV footage of a service delivery protest, 11 minutes was all it took for protesters to run amok.
The footage, shot from cameras near the intersection of Duinefontein and Lansdowne roads, shows a lone patrol car in the area at 3.14am on Monday. At 3.16am, small groups of men and women appear out of the shadows.
At 3.17am, tyres are brought forth and set alight, a wendy house is pulled into the street, a stop sign is toppled and a traffic light is destroyed.
Gathered in the centre of the intersection is a growing group of toyi toying protesters, egged on by a man with a loudhailer.
When a solitary response vehicle arrives on the scene, they chase after it, hurling stones, until it is forced to retreat up the road. By 3.25am, protesters gather around at least five burning barricades.
The footage has given the City of Cape Town an idea of the magnitude of the task it faces in trying to quell the protests. Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said the confidence with which these groups moved spoke of a meticulous plan of action.
On Wednesday, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and mayor Patricia de Lille laid intimidation charges against the ANC Youth League after it admitted to threatening to make Cape Town “ungovernable”.
The city has convened a special task force for protests, comprising law enforcement officers, metro police, the SAPS and the defence force.