Guy Fawkes pandemonium leaves 18 children, 3 adults injured

2017-11-06 19:13


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Cape Town – Guy Fawkes celebrations spun out of control in Cape Town this year, leaving 22 people injured, including 18 children.

A 10-year-old boy lost his eye.

The situation was so bad that the City of Cape Town is considering whether a by-law is necessary, mayoral committee member for Safety and Security JP Smith said on Monday.

Smith said more than 200 emergency calls, directly related to Guy Fawkes and the illegal discharge of fireworks, were received.

The City of Cape Town had 12 spots designated for the release of fireworks.

However, high winds forced the city to close some down for safety reasons, including sites at Table View and Maiden’s Cove.

But, instead of heading home, many people decided to find an alternative venue and some headed to Strandfontein and Athlone.

Fifteen of the injuries were recorded at Strandfontein Pavilion and just before 23:00, fireworks loaded on a bakkie were confiscated at Athlone Stadium.

In addition to the discharge of fireworks, some revellers also attacked people, using "paint socks" filled with paint or bricks.

A cyclist in Lavender Hill, as well as a security guard and a woman were injured

Officials issued over 100 verbal warnings for the illegal discharge of fireworks in residential areas and the use of "paint socks".

In Lavender Hill, officials had to fire off two rounds of rubber bullets to ward off people using “paint socks”.

"This is but an example of the terror many communities endure on Guy Fawkes," said Smith.

"Apart from the disturbance that fireworks cause, the behaviour of marauding gangs attacking innocent people is downright criminal.

"The constant sound of fireworks also masks the sound of gunshots, making it difficult for police to respond to real emergencies effectively."

He said the city was trying to minimise the use of fireworks.  

"However, the upcoming review of the by-law relating to Streets, Public Places and Prevention of Noise Nuisances in the next year offers an opportunity to take a fresh legal and Constitutional look at the city’s powers in this regard.

"Furthermore, we urge civil society to petition National Government for stronger legislation relating to the sale and use of fireworks by the general public."

Read more on:    jp smith  |  cape town

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