Police clash with Cape protesters

By Daneel Knoetze Time of article published Mar 20, 2014

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Cape Town - Residents burned tyres and blocked roads in a number of areas across Cape Town on Thursday morning in service delivery protests.

At the Bekela informal settlement, near Philippi, protesters clashed with police, taunting officers with bricks and bottles on the corner of Stock and Spine roads.

Police responded with raids into the informal settlement, shooting stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse the toyi-toying crowds as they gathered.

Resident Babalwa Ndabekelana complained about the “heavy handedness” of the officers pointing to children who she feared would be hurt in the violence.

“We are protesting for houses and decent toilets,” she said.

She gave the Cape Argus a tour of the settlement, showing blocked toilets, portaloos and pools of water.

“This is a temporary relocation area, built by the government, but many of us have been here for more than 10 years.

“It is disgusting to live here, we are getting sick because of the conditions. Most of us have TB and for us there is no end in sight to living like this,” Ndabekelana said.

She added local informal settlement committees were in contact with one another. The committees apparently co-ordinate rallies, explaining the fact that protests also erupted in Delft and other areas in Mitchells Plain and Philippi this morning.

Western Cape police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk confirmed this morning’s protest action in a number of areas.

“Tyres are burning at Symphony Road in Delft South, Baden Powell Road in Lansdowne and Weltevreden Road under the R300 bridge, as well as Sheffield Road, Lansdowne, due to service delivery protest.

“Our members are on the scene to monitor the situation,” Van Wyk said.

Richard Bosman, executive director for Safety and Security in the city, said: “It is believed that the protests are related to issues around service delivery; tyres were set alight, as well as portable toilets.

“Police and metro police are on the scene to contain the situation.”

Bosman also reported several road closures as a result of the protests.

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Cape Argus

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