National shutdown: Cape Town reports incidents of protest, failed attempts of arson

Enforcement agencies in Cape Town dispersing would-be protesters. Picture: CoCT

Enforcement agencies in Cape Town dispersing would-be protesters. Picture: CoCT

Published Mar 20, 2023


Cape Town – As South Africans all sit tight and await the national shutdown planned across the nation, enforcement agencies in Cape Town continue to be on high alert.

Last week, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) announced the planned shutdown today.

While the party has called on everyone who is fed up with corruption, unemployment and the rolling blackouts, they have also vowed to close businesses and schools.

Enforcement agencies in Cape Town are dispersing would-be protesters. Picture: CoCT

Mayoral committee member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith said there have been some incidents reported.

Smith said two incidents of failed arson were reported on Sunday.

“Yesterday saw two failed attempts with petrol bombs thrown at MyCiti buses. The flames were extinguished, with only smoke damage.

“SAPS forensics attended to gather evidence. Several attempts at burning rubbish across roadways in Khayelitsha, also Hindle and Symphony Roads. Upon arrival by our services, debris was extinguished and removed, no sign of protesters.

“Before midnight, small group of protesters gathered in Parklands Table View and tried to intimidate fuel stations in the area.

Enforcement agencies in Cape Town dispersing would-be protesters. Picture: CoCT

“Private security along with SAPS responded. One EFF supporter was arrested. The other 9 EFF supporters retreated into a security complex and hid. Private security is monitoring the residence,” Smith said.

The City of Cape Town’s enforcement agencies has collected hundreds of tyres along hot spot areas since Friday.

The tyres are believed to have been placed in the areas for the protest.

By 3am on Monday, a group of protesters gathering along Borcherds Quarry Road.

Enforcement agencies in Cape Town dispersing would-be protesters. Picture: CoCT

Members of the Cape Town Metro Police and SAPS held the line and pushed protesters back into Nyanga.

Smith said in Woodstock in the Main Road, about 100 protesters were gathering trying to move towards Mowbray.

Police fired a gas canister and the protesters dispersed.

He said by 4am, all areas were quiet and routes were open.

However, by 7am, Smith announced road closures.

“Road closure on Klipfontein Road, Nyanga, between Borcherds Quarry and Miller Road due to stone throwing,” he said.

Last week, the City of Cape Town were also successful in its interdict application in the Western Cape High Court against the EFF.

“With appreciation to the Western Cape High Court who having heard both the arguments of the city and that of the EFF, has seen it fit to grant the urgent interdict against the EFF, which prevents them from engaging in or trying to incite others to perform any act of violence, damage to property, any form of intimidation or threat, or the attempt to disrupt any school, business, transport provider, either before, during or after their intended shutdown protest on Monday.

“Further to this, the courts also saw it fit to order the EFF to pay the costs of the urgent application which the City brought.

“It must be clear to understand, the City is not opposed to any lawful and peaceful protest action,” Smith said.

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