Man killed in Marikana havoc
Cape Town - A man died on Wednesday night after the car in which he was travelling was struck by a brick, millions of rand worth of damage was caused when nine city vehicles were torched, and a house belonging to a ward councillor was destroyed during an ongoing protest by residents of the Marikana informal settlement.
Marikana informal settlement residents have been protesting since Monday, demanding that the city install water and sanitation services in their area, near Philippi.
Hundreds of people protested on Thursday, burning tyres, blocking roads with large concrete rocks and dumping rubble on the R300, N2, Sheffield and Govan Mbeki roads.
Police officers used tear gas, stun grenades and fired rubber bullets as protesters pelted stones at them. Two men were arrested.
The City is still counting the cost of the devastation as four rubbish trucks, worth R2 million each, five cars and municipal offices, at the City’s Klipfontein Solid Waste Management depot, were burnt.
Police spokesperson Andre Traut said the 68-year-old man who died was a passenger in a Toyota when a brick was hurled at the car on the N2. The man died on the way to hospital.
Traut said a murder charge was being investigated. The situation remained tense throughout the day on Thursday after four days.
Resident Thokozile Mlandeni said: “People burnt the councillor’s house because he is not working for us. They used petrol bombs and he managed to escape with his car.”
Protesters said they were “not done” and would continue protesting.
ANC ward councillor Mzuzile Mpondwana was in his house in Lower Crossroads when someone alerted him that protesters were on their way to torch his home.
“I called the police, but they (protesters) managed to arrive before the police did. Luckily my children were at school and I managed to escape.” He said his house was also looted. “Everything inside was destroyed.”
Mayco member for utility services Ernest Sonnenberg said: “It’s highly regrettable that the callous actions of criminals will now severely impact on the City’s ability to deliver services to the people.”
The City was discussing contingency measures to ensure that area cleaning and refuse collection services would continue, assuring residents would be informed of any schedule changes.