Cape Town to sue protest instigators

2013-10-30 17:24
(Wallace du Plessis, News24)

(Wallace du Plessis, News24)

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Looting at CT protest

2013-10-30 14:53

Protests against Cape Town's provincial government turned violent when protesters began looting and destroying property. Watch the looting here.WATCH

Cape Town - The City of Cape Town plans to sue ANC councillors involved in the violent protest that caused chaos in the CBD on Wednesday.

About  3 500 people marched to the Western Cape Legislature on Wednesday afternoon, wanting to hand a memorandum to Premier Helen Zille, demanding housing and more land for squatters.

But it turned violent when protesters started looting from the city’s informal traders.

Shops and businesses in the CBD were forced to shut their doors, trapping people inside.

Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith said ANC councillor Loyiso Nkhola along with former ANC councillor Andile Lili, were the “main instigators” behind the protest going violent.

Nkhola and Lili were arrested in July after protesters threw faeces on the steps of the Western Cape Legislature.

Smith told News24 the initial information received for the protest, indicated that it would be a smaller group.

Police had prepared for this, but had to call in back-up officers when a larger crowd started gathering. Smith added that the information received was deliberately misleading.

“The main component of the march was legal, but a faction broke away from the assigned route and started looting from informal traders in the CBD, he said.

Smith, who attended a general council meeting on Wednesday, said Nkhola's seat had been vacant.

“His excuse was that he had important business to attend to.”

Smith told News24 that he received photographic evidence of Nkhola and Lili leading the protest to the legislature.

City officials will convene a meeting to discuss the legal ramifications of the protest and will also discuss the cost of damages.

“Since it is hard to prove that the protest was instigated by the ANC, we will be suing the councillors in their personal capacity.”

Earlier Zille’s spokesperson Zak Mbele to eNCA that the provincial government was looking at two courses of action, the one being a charge of incitement to commit a crime against Nkhola and the other being a court ruling which held that organisers of public demonstrations can be held liable for the resulting violence.

Meanwhile, a convoy of police vehicles and riot police steered the protesters out of the CBD.

- Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts or send us your photos

Read more on:    anc  |  helen zille  |  jp smith  |  andile lili  |  cape town  |  protests

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