Dagga arrest sparks Hangberg protest

2017-07-06 21:45
Hangberg protest (Peter Michaels)

Hangberg protest (Peter Michaels)

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Cape Town - About 150 people blocked a road in Hangberg, Hout Bay, on Thursday with a burning barricade over a dagga arrest, police said.

Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said police dispersed protesters from the scene on Thursday afternoon and were monitoring the situation.

City of Cape Town councillor Roberto Quintas said a group of people, including young children, started stoning passing cars near a barricade of burning tyres and rocks at the intersection of Harbour and Atlantic Skipper roads.

Quintas said the protesters demanded that the arrested person be freed.

When Quintas went to monitor the situation he had to withdraw because people started throwing stones in his direction, he said.

To his knowledge nobody was injured.

Police and fire department officials worked together to douse the flames and clear the road so that it could be reopened.

However, small craters of molten tar would still have to be repaired at a later stage.

''I personally, and the City of Cape Town, condemn in the strongest possible terms the ongoing damage to property seen in violent protests,'' he said.

''It was a community basically protecting a suspect and preventing law enforcement agencies from carrying on their duty.

''This created a more ominous feeling in an area troubled already, and on edge because of violent action.''

Imizamo Yethu

From Saturday to Monday entrances and exits to Hout Bay were blocked off by protesters fed up with waiting for the city to build the houses they were promised after a devastating fire in Imizamo Yethu in March.

The city has been ''reblocking'' the area - a process which allows for access roads between the shacks that will be built so that fire engines can get in to the densely populated area faster if another blaze starts.

On Monday cars were overturned and one man was injured when he was shot.

It was not clear who had shot him.

Rwexana said she could not immediately say what had since happened with the arrest.

On March 31 the Western Cape High Court ruled that it was an infringement of the right to privacy to ban the use of dagga in private homes by adults.

Handing down judgment Judge Dennis Davis said that anybody arrested for private possession could cite personal use as a defence in court.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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