Villiersdorp protest turns violent
Cape Town - Villiersdorp residents burned down a community hall and destroyed public facilities in a protest on Monday, Western Cape police said.
Captain Frederick van Wyk said the trouble began at around 05:00 when about 150 residents burned tyres on the corner of Buitenkant street and Graaff street in the town.
Some commuters were prevented from going to work.
A local leader, who usually led protest marches, was called to talk to the crowd without success.
Protesters insisted on speaking to Theewaterskloof district municipality manager Stan Wallace, and an opportunity to hand him a memorandum of demands.
About 800 people then marched to the municipal offices, destroying facilities along the way.
"The memorandum was handed over to Wallace but the crowd was still unruly. The protesters were warned to disperse without success," Van Wyk said.
Police used water cannons to disperse the crowd. Residents retaliated by throwing stones and bricks, damaging the post office and municipal offices.
They also threw a beer bottle at someone, upon which police officers used rubber bullets.
The protesters retreated to local township Goniwe Park where they burned down the community hall.
Van Wyk said a case of public violence and malicious damage to property was opened. No arrests were made and no injuries were reported.
The municipality was expected to comment later on Monday on the reason for the protest.
The situation was being monitored.
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