Flare-up in protests

2018-06-05 06:01

Protest action flared up again in Woodlands on Sunday following several calls for peace last week.

After a foiled land invasion attempt in Woodlands last weekend, a group of around 100 people started burning tyres on the corners of Eros Way and Eisleben Road and looting shops in the area with reports of shooting incidents on Monday last week.

Calm returned to the area on Tuesday last week with council officials setting up several meetings with the community.

But on Sunday, there was again reports of burning tyres on the corners of Eisleben Road and Highlands Drive.

The initial protests follows the land invasion where a group of residents demarcated plots on an open field and pitched tents (“Woodlands plot invaded by locals, protests follow”, People’s Post, 29 May).

The tents were removed by the Law Enforcement anti-land invasion unit and the land was cleared.

Following the string of protests Mayor Patricia de Lille said in a statement: “I am deeply disturbed by the spate of land invasions which at times has been accompanied by violence and destruction of property around Cape Town.

“I also want to place it on record that the City of Cape Town will not tolerate land invasions in the city and law enforcement agencies will not hesitate to act against those who incite violence.”

Land invasions are illegal and pose fire, health and flood risks to our communities, her statement continued.

Dan Plato, MEC for community safety, also expressed his concerns over the increase in violent protests saying: “I condemn in the strongest possible terms the violence, destruction of property and looting committed in Woodlands, under the veil of service delivery protests. The Western Cape Government respects the right of individuals and communities to protest peacefully, to engage with authorities in different ways and to highlight legitimate issues.”

Following the unrest and meetings with the community, the City advised that investigations would follow.

“On Tuesday evening (29 May), I met with a number of stakeholders. The protest action, which is linked to attempts to illegally invade City-owned land in the area, occurred sporadically over a number of days and was characterised by violent clashes with law enforcement agencies as well as incidents of looting,” says Mayco member (South), Eddie Andrews.V Continued on page 2.

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