Protests 'to destabilise municipality'

2012-03-13 07:26

Cape Town - A protest by Villiersdorp residents was an attempt to destabilise the Threewaters district municipality, its mayor said on Monday.

"Recent demonstrations in Grabouw and Villiersdorp leave me with no doubt that it attempts to destabilise the municipality that has been very peaceful and effective for the last six years," Chris Punt said.

The poor would suffer as a result of the damage caused by protesters to two community halls and a fire engine.


Community members were unhappy that the municipality did not provide services to an informal settlement on a farm called Destiny, said municipal manager Stan Wallace.

The municipality could not legally provide the services because it did not own the land, but was in the process of trying to buy it, he said.

Earlier, Captain Frederick van Wyk said the trouble began at around 05:00 on Monday when about 150 residents burned tyres on a street corner.

Some commuters were prevented from going to work.

A local leader, who usually led protest marches, was called to talk to the crowd without success.

Protesters insisted on speaking to Wallace and handing him a memorandum of demands.

About 800 people then marched to the municipal offices, destroying facilities along the way.

"The memorandum was handed over to Wallace but the crowd was still unruly. The protesters were warned to disperse without success," Van Wyk said.

Wallace said the memorandum contained a request that the town council meet with representatives of the protesters within five days.

Later he was asked to meet with them the same day, but Wallace said he was unable to reach their leader.

Rubber bullets

Police used water cannons to disperse the crowd. Residents retaliated by throwing stones and bricks, damaging the post office and municipal offices.

They also threw a beer bottle at someone, upon which police officers fired rubber bullets at them.

The protesters retreated to the local township Goniwe Park, where they burned down the community hall.

Van Wyk said a case of public violence and malicious damage to property had been opened. No arrests had been made and no injuries reported.

The situation was being monitored.

- Are you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

  • Herman - 2012-03-13 07:34

    Why is the poor which will suffer alone? The average income citizens also suffer due to this, our taxes must replace and repair what the poor has demolished. Yet they still keep on voting the criminal and incompetent anc regime into power. If they want to burn and break, they deserve nothing in any case.

      nasheenar - 2012-03-13 07:53

      Absolutely Herman.It is a vicious cycle which we seem to be paying for over and over. What amases me is how destructive people become, yet in the same breath demanding free everything.

      Mike - 2012-03-13 07:57

      I saw this on the news last night, the area that they are striking is the anc ward, the da ward there is peaceful and working

      Herman - 2012-03-13 08:57

      @ nasheenar, the population of SA have become a bunch of consumers, demanding everything, consuming what they get like locusts, producing nothing, contributing nothing and destroying which was build to uplift their lives. As long as this worthles anc governes or as they would say rule SA, we, the ordinary, taxpaying and contributing citizens will be burdened to death through taxation and corruption. How do we stop this? Not at the voting stations it seems....

  • Skuiter - 2012-03-13 07:55

    Captian obvious, is obvious

  • Jacques - 2012-03-13 08:08

    Its funny how a mob's intelligence instantly drops down to its least intelligent member.

  • Josie - 2012-03-13 08:24

    If I had to live in an informal settlement in a shack I think I would be angry and frustrated - where are the houses for these people - where is the infrastructure - the looting has to stop by those in charge and the money used for housing,education and healthcare. Why are they still getting away with it after all these years. And instead of destroying these people should be building and cleaning up their living areas - find some good leaders in each community and start a push to build not destroy.

      René - 2012-03-19 12:14

      No Josie, where are the employment opportunities so that those living in informal settlements can earn money to provide themselves a better lifestyle and living conditions - just as you and I are doing. But no, the incumbent government have promoted state-dependency in order to ensure that they have a financial axe over the heads of the bulk of their support base...creating perceptions that the DA will not give them grants, the DA will not continue with land reclaim initiatives, etc. The ANC has to wake up and realize that voters are becoming more educated and will continue to fall for their lies, or let the ANC government continue to deceive them with such untrue statements to create perceptions that is attempts to hide the ANC's non-delivery and infighting.

  • Andres - 2012-03-13 08:33

    An ANC-held ward... Well, you get the government you deserve. At least the DA-led municipality is not playing party politics and is attempting to buy the land the informal settlement is on, so they can legally begin providing services.

  • SARealist - 2012-03-13 08:37

    When will the people use their vote for a polical party in their wards that DOES TAKE THEIR interest to heart? Issue must be in the ANC Wards and not the DA wards? But until they mature they must live with who they voted for and who made promises but fails deliver. The wiser voters have moved their votes to the DA, because they have seen the JOB GETS DONE. Classic Example - Just get in your car and drive down the coast from PE to CT and when you pass the WELCOME TO WESTERN CAPE sign you think you have reach another country. Even their National Roads are better.

  • malcolm - 2012-03-13 08:40

    Everybody should be happy with their leadership in a democracy. There is no justification for barbaric behaviour. Dissatisfaction with service delivery should be addressed at the voting polls. These people have had almost 18 years to change the government with a simple cross. Its their own fault they have poor living conditions.

      patrickflynn73 - 2012-03-13 08:52

      Agreed. Its time they vote for the party that works for you!

  • Dinesh - 2012-03-13 08:53

    Too much racist here. Black and White. Its dispicable that people can think like this. Most of these comments makes me sick.

      owlcritic - 2012-03-13 09:11

      Yes dinesh it is despicable that people are manipulated by politicos on ethnic lines for power and personal gain.

  • Malcolm - 2012-03-13 08:56

    "No arrests had been made" - And this is the problem, the instant protesters start damaging things they should be arrested.

  • owlcritic - 2012-03-13 09:02

    Why is it that Africa's response to anything is VIOLENCE AND DESTRUCTION?

  • Jack - 2012-03-13 09:14

    To hell with rubber bullets, bring out the GPMG's

  • Duncan Thabiso Mphailane - 2012-03-13 09:16

    The municipality doesn't provide any services to that ward because its an ANC led ward and those people are black. Put a white person in power, they'll show you who's die baas.

      Tony Lapson - 2012-03-13 10:29

      Duncan for mayor a la Villiersdorp! This guy is so enlightened, he will be able to provide for everyone after forcing the government to dish out millions of their hard earned bonuses for the people. Paperwork is but a myth! I believe in racist Duncan, so should you.

      Andres - 2012-03-13 11:31

      Well done on using the race card and NOT reading. It is against the NATIONAL (ANC run nation) Municipal Finances Management Act (MFMA) to provide or budget for bulk-services for areas not on municipal ground. Theewaterskloof Municipality is trying to buy the land these informal-dwellers settled on. Funny how we turn to skin-tone when we can't argue like civilised people. Get with the program, we're South Africans first, our race second!

      Ally - 2012-03-13 17:29

      Duncan, read to the end of the story and you will see the reasonable explanation for the municipality not "providing services" in that area. You should instead question why the protests were not against the landowner who has not provided services. About time you applied some logic when mouthing off about politics.

  • Randomhero6661 - 2012-03-13 09:45

    can you say animal(s)? what is it with stupid people?

  • Haveyoursay - 2012-03-13 09:56

    My first impression when I read the headlines is that these people must be desperate to resort to this but when i read the article then I couldn't understand how they could demand services on a land that the council doesn't even own. Even if the ANC didn't promise them free everything the people are convinced with the ANC in power they will get everything for free.

      mholthuysen - 2012-03-13 10:38

      That is the only thing the ANC has done since 1994 - promises, promises, promises. Instead of leading its people to achieve better we have become a want want want society.

  • nishan.sitlu - 2012-03-13 12:07

    If u want something, work for it! Don't keep destroying things and expecting to get stuff for free. Even if they are living in shacks, if they worked together, they can still build a good community. Why does everything have to be provided?

      Ally - 2012-03-13 17:33

      Jeez, and you expect people to WORK for what they demand? Why can't we all just demand services etc without working?

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