Toilet protesters due in court
Cape Town - The 32 people arrested after a violent toilet protest in Khayelitsha were expected to appear in court on Wednesday, Western Cape police said.
Captain Anneke van der Vyver said eight of them were arrested for public violence while 24 were arrested under the Gathering Act, for staging an illegal march.
They were all detained at the Harare police station.
The Khayelitsha residents were protesting against the City of Cape Town's decision to removed 65 toilets in the Makhaza settlement.
They burnt tyres and blocked roads with cement slabs.
The city took a decision to remove the toilets built without enclosures, after the ANC Youth League destroyed enclosures erected by the city last week.
Cape Town mayor Dan Plato said on Monday the toilets would be replaced once residents had built enclosures themselves.
"Given that the city has been prevented from building the remaining enclosures, we have resolved to temporarily remove the toilets until appropriate enclosures have been built.
"We are willing to go back and reinstall the toilets as soon as the community reaches an agreement with the Youth League," he said.
The city negotiated an agreement with residents in 2007 that residents would contribute to the project by building enclosures around the toilets themselves. "Of the 1 316 toilets provided in terms of this agreement, 1 265 were properly enclosed by residents. The remaining 51 were not," Plato said.
The Young Communist League (YCLSA) in the Brian Bunting District said it agreed with the ANC Youth League that decent facilities should be built for the people but rejected the destruction of the temporarily corrugated structures and the violent protests.
"These violent protests will lead to criminals being opportunistic in the process and drive an [innocent] agenda to suit their own needs," said spokesperson Sive Gumenge.
He said the ANCYL was right to take the matter to the Human Rights Commission.
"As YCLSA, we feel the poor will be victims of seeking political popularity by the Youth League. We are therefore hoping that the regional youth league is not seeking political space over the recently disbanded provincial structure."
Van der Vyver said on Wednesday morning, the situation in Khayelitsha was "calm".
"I think the police have got everything under control," she said.