#Dunoon protest: police on high alert

Picture: MojoIOL

Picture: MojoIOL

Published Apr 8, 2016


Cape Town - A group of about 800 protesters from Dunoon as well as members of the Economic Freedom Front have gathered at the Cape Town Civic Centre in the CBD.

The group are waiting to deliver a list of grievances to Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille’s office.

Protests over a piece of land along the N7 erupted in Dunoon on Friday morning, allegedly preventing MyCiTi buses from leaving the area, before protesters set out for the local railway station to make their way to the city.

Last month, backyard-dwellers from Dunoon had built structures on the piece of land along the N7 which were subsequently demolished by City of Cape Town officials. As the protests turned violent, a MyCiTi bus station was damaged, and some of the protesters were arrested.

"No home, no vote" #Dunoon pic.twitter.com/Fmtg9kIt4P

— IOL News (@IOL) April 8, 2016

Earlier on Friday morning protesters gathered outside the Stables MyCiTi bus depot in Dunoon before making their way to the train station at Century City to travel to the city centre. They apparently moved right through a police line and were then escorted by police.

It is understood that police used stun grenades earlier in the morning and several roads in the area were blocked off after fires were started by some protesters.

The city closed three MyCiTi stations “until further notice”.

Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andrè Traut confirmed that a protest action was taking place and was being monitored by police. He said no arrests had been made and police would remain in the area to maintain law and order during the day.

Mayco member for Transport Brett Herron said hundreds of MyCiTi commuters were inconvenienced on Friday morning due to the “illegal protest action” by a group of residents who prevented buses from leaving the Stables bus depot in Dunoon.

He said the group gathered in front of the gates at the depot early on Friday morning, blocking the exit and preventing a staff bus transporting bus drivers from entering the premises. Herron said law enforcement officials were deployed to assist with the situation, and the first buses were only dispatched at around 6.30am, with officials escorting the bus drivers.

“Potsdam Road is closed for traffic at the intersection with Blaauwberg Road and Sandown Road.

“As such, the MyCiTi buses operating along the T01 and T04 route are currently turning short at Killarney Terminus until further notice.

“Due to the volatile situation, three of the busiest stations along the T01 – Usasaza, Dunoon and Killarney – will also remain closed until further notice,” Herron said.

Hundreds of motorists were delayed by the road closures and the march.

Protester Xolani Hlekiso said on Friday that they had identified a piece of land suitable for dwellings but the city did not want them to move on to it. “We get exploited by our landlords. Rent goes up every month. We can’t even use the toilet inside the house.”

Hlekiso said they had been trying to engage the city to find space for homes, but to no avail, so they were marching to De Lille’s office to hand over a list of grievances.

Dolly Vinqise said they did not have proper places to live and the last time they built shacks, they were destroyed.

“We are tired of building just for our houses to be demolished by the city. We can’t afford to keep on buying material because when they demolish, they take the material with them.”

Vinqise said the protesters had “permission” to march to the mayor’s office.

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Cape Argus

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