Police used stun grenades and tear gas as well as rubber bullets in trying to disperse EFF members who were marching to the Brackenfell High School in November last year. File picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
Police used stun grenades and tear gas as well as rubber bullets in trying to disperse EFF members who were marching to the Brackenfell High School in November last year. File picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

City of Cape Town in R1.4m civil claim against Gatvol Capetonian, EFF for damage during protests

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Apr 12, 2021

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Cape Town – The City of Cape Town is moving ahead with a R1.4 million civil claim against Gatvol Capetonian and the EFF for the cost to repair damaged public infrastructure during violent protests.

A summons was issued to Gatvol Capetonian on March 29 for over R1.3 million in damages related to a “shut down” of major routes in Cape Town in August 2019, the City said in a statement on Monday.

The City’s legal representatives have also issued a Letter of Demand to the EFF for damage to infrastructure in Brackenfell on November 20 last year, ’’in violation of agreed gathering conditions with the South African Police Services (SAPS) and Western Cape High Court’’.

’’Destroying infrastructure is not an acceptable form of protest, nor is shutting down major routes and disrupting the lives of law-abiding residents.

’’In South Africa, we need to draw the line on the rule of law, that is why we are holding these groupings accountable for their actions to the tune of R1.4 million,’’ said Mayor Dan Plato.

The City’s civil claim states that it was “reckless, wrongful and unlawful” of Gatvol Capetonian to incite a “shut down” while violating their Gatherings Act obligations to give notice, appoint convenors and marshalls, and refrain from violence.

Particulars of the infrastructure destroyed by Gatvol Capetonian in various communities includes:

  • 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 – R 1867.64
  • Total: R1 304 438.05

’’It is disappointing when political organisations cause harm to community infrastructure and damage critical assets that are 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.

’’The communities of Grassy Park, Atlantis, Mitchells Plain and elsewhere deserve better. The City respects the rule of law and the right of citizens to assemble, provided this is done peacefully and with respect to the rights of others,'’ said Plato.

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

A total amount of R87 312.25 is being sought from the EFF to cover the costs of infrastructure repair and fire-fighting equipment.

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

A landmark precedent was previously set in 2012 when the Constitutional Court ruled that the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) must pay R1.5 million to the City of Cape Town for damages incurred during a protest.

IOL

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