Cape Town - The City of Cape Town plans to sue the protesters who ran amok in the city centre last year and will follow this up with legal action against 15 so-called poo protesters, including former ANC councillors Andile Lili and Loyiso Nkohla.
JP Smith, the mayoral committee member for safety and security, confirmed that on Friday the city would file papers against the members of the informal settlement association, Ses’khona, who had admitted to being involved in the violent protest that included the looting of stalls and shops and damage to council property.
Although the city’s claim for damages of about R38 000 was a relatively “small amount”, Smith said it was about the principle of holding people accountable.
“They took responsibility for a protest that went out of control. It is an open-and-shut case.”
Smith said the application for the march, which came from a group that claimed to represent the interests of those in informal settlements, was in fact a “front” for the ANC.
But the big test would be the second court action against the 15 people behind the poo protests, which included the dumping of human waste on the steps of the Western Cape provincial government and at Cape Town International Airport.
In this case, the city hoped to recoup about R24 million in damages.
He said the direct remedial cost of damage to roads and other city infrastructure, caused during the various protest activities, could be about R8m.
But this amount would be tripled by the indirect costs, such as the deployment of staff and vehicles to protests across the city.
“We believe that we can prove that the ANC were involved.”
But Smith added that, despite the dossier of evidence collected, which included CCTV footage and images captured by the media, it could be difficult to prove who was involved in what.
Smith said many of the other criminal cases against those implicated in the march had been dropped.
“There has been no serious effort to prosecute them. So the city has to hold them to account with civil action.”