Officers dodge stones, respond with teargas and rubber bullets in Parkwood

2018-05-24 20:40
Police keeping watch in Parkwood. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Police keeping watch in Parkwood. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Law enforcement officials dodged stones in Parkwood on Thursday and responded with teargas and rubber bullets as a violent housing protest continued.

Cape Town law enforcement spokesperson Wayne Dyason said earlier the afternoon that the situation in the area remained unstable after the unrest started over the weekend.

The M5/Prince George Drive has been sporadically closed and reopened.

"The Parkwood area is still volatile, and protesters have been stoning officers and taunting them with hand gestures as if they were shooting at them," Dyason said.

"They also [started] a fire in Walmer Road next to a City substation. The protesting group has also been seen with petrol bombs which have not yet been used."

READ: Public Protector asked to step in to probe allegations of housing list corruption after Parkwood protests

On Thursday night, groups of mostly young people continued to play "cat and mouse" with officers, Dyason said.

They would throw stones, retreat when rubber bullets were fired, and then return.

They could not come close enough to throw the petrol bombs.

In a separate incident, about 50 people were seen stacking tyres in Freedom Park informal settlement after protesters destroyed traffic lights on Wednesday night.

By early evening, no violence had occurred yet, Dyason said.

On Thursday afternoon, police also responded to unrest in the Cape Town CBD, where tyres were burnt between Buitengracht and Rose streets.

The protest is understood to be against gentrification.

READ: 'Where will we go?' - Parkwood backyarders

Meanwhile, an agreement has been reached between the Overstrand Municipality and community representatives in Masakhane, following protests over the council's alleged lack of progress regarding housing for low income households and backyard dwellers.

About 500 people took part in the protest, which was monitored by police and law enforcement.

Municipality spokesperson Riana Steenekamp said Gansbaai area manager Francois Myburgh had requested that a delegation meet with him.

After negotiations, the protesters dispersed, she confirmed.

"They have agreed to peacefully return home and not to engage in any protest action or intimidation until Monday, 28 May at 10:00 when the delegation will meet with the mayor."

Earlier, Steenekamp said there had been intimidation and workers were prevented from leaving the area.

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Read more on:    cape town  |  housing  |  land  |  service delivery  |  protests
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