Arrests after Masiphumelele protest cuts cycle tour short

2017-03-13 22:15
Masiphumelele protesters blocked roads at the weekend, cutting the Cape Town Cycle Tour short. (Photo: Ryan Johardien, GroundUp)

Masiphumelele protesters blocked roads at the weekend, cutting the Cape Town Cycle Tour short. (Photo: Ryan Johardien, GroundUp)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


WATCH: Swells, wind and fire - extreme weather batters Cape Town and Durban

2017-03-13 12:49

Mini 'tsunamis' crashed into the Durban beachfront on Sunday, while in Cape Town, winds of over 100km/ hr forced the cancellation of the Cape Town Cycle Tour. Meanwhile, tragedy stuck the Imizamo Yethu informal settlement. Watch for more...WATCH

Cape Town - A protest by residents of Masiphumelele to draw attention to land issues in the community cut the Cape Town Cycle Tour short on Sunday.

Seventeen residents were arrested in the early hours of Sunday, March 12, after they blocked a road next to the township, GroundUp reports.

Residents were unhappy with the response of ward councillor Felicity Purchase to a memorandum which they handed over on February 14. The demolition of shacks, the unavailability of land and the lack of electricity in some areas were some of their concerns.

The protest resulted in the cycle tour being significantly shortened from 109km to 78km, with cyclists being diverted over Glencairn Expressway so that they avoid Masiphumelele. The cycle tour was then completely abandoned due to high winds.

On March 12 protesting residents were quickly dispersed by metro police and SAPS with rubber bullets. Police patrolled the area, shooting rubber bullets and teargas until about 09:00.

Those going to work had to catch taxis outside Masiphumelele as both entrances to Masiphumelele were closed all day.

Community leader Tshepo Moletsana said residents were "very angry" at the councillor's failure to address them on Saturday evening.

"People were prepared to go and disrupt the cycle tour," he said.

'Where do they want us to stay?'

One of the protesters told GroundUp they were protesting because they were desperate.

"The city thinks they can come and demolish people's houses and not provide them with anything. Where do they want us to stay? We backyarders are being chased out of the places we stay in everyday and have nowhere to go," she said.

Others complained of expensive rent that they could not afford.

Moletsana said some backyarders were being forced from their homes as the homeowners wanted to build flats. He also said shacks were being demolished without alternative land or accommodation being provided for residents.

Moletsana said that the community would hold a meeting with the mayoral committee member for informal settlements, Xanthea Limberg, on Monday night and that Purchase was also meant to attend.

SAPS spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana confirmed that 17 people between the ages of 24 and 40 had been arrested.

"Six women and 11 men were arrested for public violence in Masiphumelele. They will appear in court once charged," said Rwexana.

Purchase had not responded to GroundUp's questions by the time of publication.

Read more on:    cape town  |  service delivery  |  protests

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.


How to get rid of fleas

Before you call in the pricey exterminators, try this DIY approach that promises to get your flea problem under control.



12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Do you know what you are feeding your dog?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.