People protesting under the banner of "Gatvol Capetonian" blockaded the Stellenbosch Arterial with burning tyres on Thursday. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
People protesting under the banner of "Gatvol Capetonian" blockaded the Stellenbosch Arterial with burning tyres on Thursday. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

City of Cape Town sues Gatvol, EFF for damage to public infrastructure

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Apr 13, 2021

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town is suing the organisation Gatvol Capetonian and the EFF for R1.4 million for the damage caused to public infrastructure during violent protests.

Mayor Dan Plato said a summons was issued to Gatvol Capetonian on March 29 for more than R1.3 million in damages related to a “shutdown” of major routes in Cape Town in August 2019.

Plato said the City’s civil claim stated that it was “reckless, wrongful and unlawful” of that organisation to incite a “shutdown” while violating their Gatherings Act obligations to give notice, appoint conveners and marshals and refrain from violence.

According to the City, particulars of the infrastructure allegedly destroyed by Gatvol Capetonian in various communities included Grassy Park (R311 760.87), Atlantis (R336 946.75), Mitchells Plain (R50 000), Kensington (R50 000), Ocean View (Kommetjie) (R361 953.31), Ocean View (Milky Way Road) (R170 000), Delft (R11 909.48), CBD (R10 000), Bo-Kaap (R1867.64), with all that amounting to R1 304 438.05.

Gatvol Capetonian spokesperson Fadiel Adams said the City needed to prove that Gatvol had damaged its infrastructure.

Adams said they had just called for peaceful protests and were prepared to go to the court to defend that. "We are prepared to expose the reasons why we went to the streets."

Plato said it was disappointing when political organisations caused harm to infrastructure and damaged critical assets that were installed to uplift communities.

"The City is committed to providing resources to all communities but this becomes difficult when there are individuals working against social cohesion as seen through their acts of destruction, as with the EFF and Gatvol Capetonian."

He said the City’s legal representatives had further issued a letter of demand to the EFF for damage to infrastructure in Brackenfell in November 20, 2020, in violation of agreed gathering conditions with the police and Western Cape High Court.

Plato said EFF members damaged traffic lights at several intersections, set fire to a vacant field and damaged public vehicles, including a fire engine.

He said an amount of R87 312,25 was being sought from the EFF to cover the costs of infrastructure repair and fire-fighting equipment.

Plato said the EFF had 21 days to make payment into the City’s bank account or face a summons, which would also include a claim for legal costs to recover the funds, plus interest.

EFF provincial spokesperson Wandile Kasibe said they would respond as soon as their legal team had processed the information.

Cape Argus

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