Traffic officers closed Potsdam road leading into Du Noon following violent protest action. The N7 was closed on several occasions on Friday after protesters attacked motorist with stones. A truck was also set alight on the N7. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for transport Felicity Purchase has condemned the violent protests and vandalism on Thursday and Friday in Dunoon, Milnerton, and Joe Slovo.

"There is no justification for the vandalism and anger aimed at innocent residents, commuters, MyCiTi personnel, city staff, and others who have happened to be in these areas during the protests," she said in a statement.

Aside from the MyCiTi commuters and staff who were exposed to traumatic situations, the residents of Dunoon and Joe Slovo had been significantly affected, as they risked their lives to get to work, school, and other destinations.

"We cannot accept nor tolerate this lawless behaviour," she said.

Perpetrators stoned the Phoenix MyCiTi station in Joe Slovo on Friday morning to gain entrance. Thereafter the thugs raided the kiosk. The entire station was vandalised and set alight. It was a miracle that the personnel managed to vacate the station unharmed. The station would remain closed until further notice.

The MyCiTi station at Dunoon that remained closed after it was vandalised a few years ago, was again set alight on Friday morning. There "is nothing left to vandalise".

"We will do a thorough assessment of the costs of the damage as soon as the situation has stabilised. It is safe to say that we will probably need millions of rand to replace and repair the infrastructure. It will also take months to do the repair work, which will have an impact on commuters who will not be able to use the facilities," Purchase said.

She confirmed that a criminal case would be opened and that the city was currently working on identifying the perpetrators on the CCTV footage which could be obtained. Anyone arrested would be investigated in terms of the Criminal Matters Amendment Act, which provided for stricter bail conditions and harsher sentences, including up to 30 years imprisonment, for those caught and convicted for destruction of essential infrastructure. 

"We must act strongly against those responsible for the violence, vandalism, and damage. Law enforcement and the South African Police Service (SAPS) are currently present in the area," she said.

As a precautionary measure, the Sanddrift MyCiTi station had been closed as well, and MyCiTi routes 261; 262, and 260 were temporarily suspended until further notice.

Commuters were advised that the buses operating route T03 were being deviated from Omuramba to Century City via Montague Drive. Further deviations included the T01 and T04 buses which were short-turning at Potsdam station and the Killarney station. Both stations would remain closed until further notice.

Commuters were advised to visit the MyCiTi website on www.myciti.org.za for regular updates about the service; and to follow on Twitter @MyCiTiBus; or to phone the Transport Information Centre on 0800-65-64-63. The TIC was available 24/7.

African News Agency (ANA)