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Cape Town - A man taking shelter in the Nyanga police station went on the rampage early on Saturday, stabbing an officer in an arm and slashing the tyres of eight police vans.

The 19-year-old, who lives in the area and whom residents described as a drug addict, is expected to appear in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court tomorrow to face charges of malicious damage to property and attempted murder.

He allegedly went on the slashing spree at 4am at the police station in the area known as South Africa’s murder capital because of the high rate of killings.

Residents said several drug addicts often sleep at the police station.

Yesterday police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut said the man had punctured the tyres of eight police vans, as well as two private cars with a knife.

“SAPS members then tried to subdue him and he stabbed one member in the arm.”

The Nyanga community policing forum’s secretary, Dumisani Qwebe, on Saturday told Weekend Argus the man was from Zwelitsha in the area and was battling a drug problem.

“The young man who did this is a drug addict,” he said.

“When we asked him what had prompted him to slash the tyres of the vehicles and stab a police officer, he said he had dreamt of people doing it and he just got up and did it.”

Qwebe said the man’s actions had negatively impacted on the community because the police vans had temporarily been unavailable to patrol the area

The incident has highlighted the problem of drug abuse in Nyanga.

Qwebe said drug users in the area sought refuge at the police station at night.

“Drug addicts and other mentally ill persons usually sleep at the police station at night because they don’t have anywhere else to go.”

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Weekend Argus