Rubber bullets fired at N2 protesters

2012-03-19 12:50

Cape Town - The N2 highway at Grabouw was re-opened on Monday after protesters disrupted the flow of traffic in the morning, Western Cape police said.

"At this stage, it is quiet although tense. Police are on the scene and the N2 has been opened," Captain Frederick van Wyk said.

He said a group of people threw stones in the morning and barricaded the road.

An SABC crew was pelted with stones while broadcasting from the scene for the morning radio news.

Stun grenades and rubber bullets were used to disperse the crowd.

March over education

Van Wyk said the unrest was apparently about service delivery grievances related to education.

"Nearly 2 000 people are marching to the Groenberg high school," he said.

"The Slangpark informal settlement borders the N2 highway and people from this community and the nearby Chotzoben informal settlement, on the Old Cape Road, are protesting."

The provincial education department said the protesters were members of the Elgin Grabouw Civic Organisation, who had planned to march in Grabouw on Monday to hand over a memorandum of demands to education MEC Donald Grant.

Organisation chairperson John Michels was quoted in the Cape Times as saying: "If he is not here to receive it, we will march to Cape Town."

The troubled Umyezo Wama Apile combined school in Grabouw was closed last week until April because of teaching disruptions.

Civic organisation members barged into the school two weeks ago to demand that a new school be built.

Public violence

Some facilities were set alight and a number of people were arrested for public violence.

Last week, classrooms were stormed by members who demanded that teaching stop.

They told pupils that Grant had not responded to a memorandum in which the group demanded that new classrooms be built.

Grant said he responded to the memorandum and was doing everything he could to obtain a site for a new school.

According to his spokesperson Bronagh Casey, he would brief reporters later on Monday on the ongoing protest action, giving a timeline of events and a plan going forward.

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

  • JohhnyBGood - 2012-03-19 13:02

    Demand, demand, demand. Why, so that it can burned down next week? Hell, if I want something I have to work for it. . .

      Max - 2012-03-19 13:11

      Rubber bullets don't work. Why don't they start using real bullets and then see if that works.

      Peter - 2012-03-19 13:24

      Typical!!! I bet you find bicycle lane infrastructure necessary than building schools.

      dewald.galjaard - 2012-03-19 13:27

      I do not agree with what has happened here and Im sure nor will most tax paying South Africans. We know where the money for these schools come from... But we need to be smart about this. These people are protesting\upset because of the incompetence of our current government. They may be far more 'expressive' than the rest of us, but they are frustrated, just like us. Hit the government where hurts most. Fight back together.

      Joseph - 2012-03-19 15:33

      USE LIVE AMMO - how many times do I have to say this. Shoot to kill take them out and so we will get rid of these F&*ers.

  • Anthony - 2012-03-19 13:03

    but it,s free

  • TheJaydedKing - 2012-03-19 13:04

    Back to rubber bullets? bet the dust didn't even gather on them.

  • paul.maarman - 2012-03-19 13:05

    WTF, yes you have grievances, but burning down buildings, what outcome do you think this is going to achieve? Less facilities in your own community, and in the end its your children that are going to suffer. We all want leafy school environments, but have to do with what we have, and work with in these constraints, to give our children more than what we had!! - "If fidelity to freedom of democracy is the code of our civic religion then surely the code of our humanity is faithful service to that unwritten commandment that says we shall give our children better than we ourselves received."

  • Peter - 2012-03-19 13:07

    It is time the politicians deliver on their promises.

  • Neil - 2012-03-19 13:17

    So here is a was it in the ANC Holy Land, the Eastern Cape? Conditions and service delivery in the Eastern Cape is so bad that people are flocking to the Western Cape for basic services...and to come and "protest" here? So how reasonable is that? No person should be denied access to education and basic services, but violence and destruction is not the way to go...especially not the destruction of private property.

  • snylo - 2012-03-19 13:23

    Haha, if I was the MEC, I'd make sure I'm not there so they can march to Cape Town ;) Maybe some will drop dead along the way and lighten the burden on the country.

  • Marion - 2012-03-19 13:25

    MEC Grant should give his response to the media so that we can better understand this situation. It is unacceptable that they burn down the facilities they have whether they are inadequate or not. Better a c****y school at this stage than no school. That said, there shouldn't be any c****y schools, children being taught under treees, in South Africa anymore.

  • Joe - 2012-03-19 13:28

    LONDON TIMES - QUOTE OF THE WEEK? Interesting point of view Affirmative Action: "South Africa is the only country in the world where affirmative action is in the favour of the majority who has complete political control. The fact that the political majority requires affirmative action to protect them against a 9% minority group is testament to a complete failure on their part to build their own wealth making structures, such that their only solution is to take it from others." Finally, a word recently coined to describe South Africa's current political situation. Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

      schalk.mattheys - 2012-03-19 13:46

      I only wish I could put more than one thumbs up on this post! Good one Joe. Thanks a lot!

      John - 2012-03-19 13:54

      Joe, what is your answer to this situation on the N2 and for the fifty years of apardtheid where there was no delivery of services to the masses. You cant undo 350 years of colonialism, imperialism and apartheid in 17 years of anew democracy. Its a long hard process, where were all the voiceiferous opponents of apardtheid when we were all living in clover. Please note there is no malice in this questioning , just curious. Best wishes

      Phumi - 2012-03-19 14:07

      It is this stinking attitude of reducing the struggles of Africans in general and blacks in particular to mere bread and butter issues. Our transformation agenda is informed by the systematic injustices and economic oppression that our people endured for centuries. It is this failer of not recognising and aknowladging the extent of the problem that was caused by colonisation and apartheid legacy. Joe just gave us one more reason of marching forward with amending our constitution so that it talks to our peoples needs!

      Riaan Werner Van Wyk - 2012-03-19 14:38

      A brilliant piece of writing that is Joe! The truth always comes out..

      TheJaydedKing - 2012-03-19 14:49

      phumi - march forward - blame all your inadequacies of thousands of years onto a single generation of ppl. remember that while in your blind angered state that you could likely count on your hand the number of ppl that were alive during colonialism but you may as well take it out on their childrens children. The great part is that you can always identify them hey? they are always white no? all your problems are always white pps fault, you should march to the houses of the great grandchildren of your oppressors and take what was never yours to start with.

  • Isabel - 2012-03-19 13:32

    Burn something - negotiate later. Wasn't it Winnie Long-name Mandela who advocated that policy? They should have all been rounded up and prosecuted, which is what happens in a civilised society. Water cannons, rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades - let them have it. Hit them with plenty of force till the message gets home that this is NOT acceptable. Who are they hurting? We who live in the suburbs? No logic at all.

  • Joe - 2012-03-19 14:10


      schalk.mattheys - 2012-03-19 15:04

      My post was also deleted Joe, I made reference to the Auditor General report whrere it stated that the only province that was run effeciently and had good service delivery was the DA led WC, and that none of the other ANC led provinces came close to passing the audit.It just proves whoever the moderator is on this comments sections are politically biased ...go ahead, delete this post also, its no going to change the fact that the WC is the only province in the country that has efficient service delivery.

  • stephanie.v.rooyen - 2012-03-19 14:22

    And what does this teach our children? If you don't like it, don't make the change yourself, go throw a tantrum in the streets.

  • Joe - 2012-03-19 15:34

    There seems to be some stuff that we're not supposed to say... I feel that picking on the blacks and the ANC is becoming a South African..TABOO.... What do you think...????

      schalk.mattheys - 2012-03-19 15:44

      Not neccessary to pick on any ethnic group or race or gender type bru, its the narrow minded "sheeple" that follow the ANC blindly when its plain as daylight their policies are not doing anyhing positive for the country. Then to come and mess around with the only Province that is actually run like a Province should be run, and to hear certain "idiots" say that the ANC should take the WC as well, and then run it like Limpopo!!?? I just dont get it sometimes...

  • James - 2012-03-19 15:37

    They burning down the schools, they obviously don't want or need an education but they got an uncle in government and tender business.

  • Rob - 2012-03-19 16:28

    I am guesssing, but with so much criminal activity in the Western Cape is it just possible that it is fomented by the ANC? It seems to be too much of a conincidence: consider the spin influence for the cadres, and how it complicates the workings of the only reasonably functional province in SA

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