Video catches protestors

2016-03-08 06:00
Piles of burning rubble and bucket toilets are put out at the end of the two-day protest.  PHOTO: LIeutenant lance Goliath/ Philippi police

Piles of burning rubble and bucket toilets are put out at the end of the two-day protest. PHOTO: LIeutenant lance Goliath/ Philippi police

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Footage captured of the recent protest along Jakes Gerwel Drive will now be used to bring vandals to book.

The City of Cape Town last week published a video on YouTube of the violent, illegal protest that took place along the busy road two weeks ago (“Road damaged in protest”, People’s Post, 1 March).

The City is offering R10 000 for information that will lead to an arrest.

To date there have been no arrests.

In the video, protestors can be seen vandalising traffic lights and digging up electrical cables from beneath the road surface.

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security, says: “We are making the most of the information at our disposal. We also cannot allow this type of wanton destruction of City property to go unchecked. The only way that we will get to a point where protestors think twice before engaging in the type of activities seen in the video is if they believe there is a chance they will get caught,” Smith tells People’s Post.

“There have been no arrests by the police in spite of the levels of public violence witnessed, which emboldens the criminal elements when the next opportunity presents itself. We need to send out a message that there are consequences for this type of action, otherwise we have little to no chance of stemming this type of behaviour,” Smith adds.

The City revealed last week the City’s water and sanitation department had received complaints about a subcontractor working in the area. This is believed to be the reason for the protest.

Smith estimates the damage done during the protest to amount to between R1m and R1.2m. He also mentions the hours of production lost due to the traffic congestion.

He said last week: “These damages force the City to spend money on repairs that would otherwise have gone towards infrastructure development. These vandals are effectively stealing resources from the poor.”

Police confirm the investigation is ongoing. Lieutenant Lance Goliath, a police spokesperson, says a meeting with all stakeholders will be arranged for later this month.

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