Toilet protesters in court

2010-06-02 08:06

The 32 people arrested after a violent toilet protest in

Khayelitsha were expected to appear in court today, Western Cape police


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 remove 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


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


“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


Van der Vyver said the situation was “calm” in Khayelitsha this

morning. “I think the police have got everything under control,” she said.

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