N2 reopened after violent protest

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n2 protest INLSA Hundreds of protesters forced the closure of the N2 highway between the R300 and Vanguard Drive, causing traffic chaos. Photo: Thomas Holder

Cape Town - The N2 highway near the Cape Town International Airport was re-opened to traffic on Friday afternoon after a violent protest earlier, the city said.

Disaster risk management centre spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said police were at the scene to keep watch.

About 500 people gathered from 4am to protest over poor service delivery, burning tyres, blocking roads, and throwing stones at passing motorists.

Petrol bombs were also thrown at police officers, Solomons-Johannes said.

An Eyewitness News vehicle was stoned on the NY108 road in Gugulethu, but journalists inside the vehicle escaped injury.

According to SABC news, 62 people were arrested in the protest.

In her weekly newsletter on Friday, mayor Patricia de Lille condemned a number of recent protests.

She said they seemed to be driven by the “reckless political rhetoric of the African National Congress Youth league (ANCYL) and other groupings”.

“What is particularly disturbing is that in this well-directed action, with evidence again indicating that this was led by the ANCYL, school children were deliberately put in the front lines.”

De Lille said it was frustrating to watch residents protest in areas like Khayelitsha when the city was investing money and time in that area.

ANCYL regional secretary Mfuzo Zenzile said no members were involved in the protest on a political level.

“Yes there are ANCYL members living in that community. The protest was claiming service delivery issues... they are part of the protest as members of the community. There is not a hidden agenda,” he said.

Zenzile said the league would nonetheless convene with its members in the area to determine what happened during the protest. - Sapa

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