Part of M5 remains closed as Cape cops monitor sporadic protests

2018-05-21 17:52
Protesters in Parkwood burnt tyres on Monday. (Suppled/City of Cape Town).

Protesters in Parkwood burnt tyres on Monday. (Suppled/City of Cape Town).

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Authorities are keeping an eye on sporadic protest action between Parkwood and Vrygrond in Cape Town on Monday afternoon and a portion of the M5 highway is still closed in both directions.

Two people were also arrested for public violence, Western Cape police confirmed.

Tyres were set alight and stones were thrown at passing vehicles in Parkwood, said City of Cape Town's law enforcement spokesperson Wayne Dyason.

As a result, the M5 highway was closed in both directions, between Dick Burton Street and De Waal Road, the City’s traffic services spokesperson Maxine Jordaan said around 16:30.

Prince George Drive was open between Military Road and Cannon Island Way.

Dyason said a shipping container was pulled into the middle of the road in Capricorn and police went to investigate.

READ: Burning tyres put Cape Town traffic officials on high alert for protest flare-up

Western Cape police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana added that police and law enforcement officers were monitoring the protest action.

Two men, aged 28 and 35, were arrested for public violence and were expected to appear in Muizenberg Magistrate's Court once charged.

"We will remain on the ground until we are satisfied that law and order has been restored," she said.

A burnt shipping container pulled into the road in Capricorn. (Suppled/City of Cape Town)

Earlier on Monday, Vrygrond Community Development Forum leader Michael Khumalo said protesters were upset that the City of Cape Town had been demolished their shacks for the third time.

"The City demolished the structures and every time they demolish the structures, there is an uprising," he said.

Khumalo said that the City should have first obtained an eviction order from the court.

"Our community is being taken for granted and no businesses will operate today. There is a full shutdown," he said.

ALSO READ: Violent protests over housing erupt in Parkwood in Cape Town

In response, Mayor Patricia de Lille said she had met with the development forum twice in the last month to discuss solutions to the issues raised.

Local ward councillor Gerry Gordon had also met with residents several times to discuss service delivery and housing, she said.

"In one of my meetings with the forum in late April, the City of Cape Town proposed three pieces of land which could be developed for the benefit of the people of Vrygrond, an option which the leadership forum was open to explore."

De Lille said that the proposal was later rejected.

"The City is prepared and committed to engaging with all communities about their concerns but this has to be done in a peaceful environment where residents are not inconvenienced by violent protests," she said.

"Individuals who use people’s genuine concerns to stoke violence and stir up racial tensions should also be condemned."

The nearby Parkwood community was still recovering from a violent housing protest which occurred on Sunday.

Frustrations over land and housing

Hundreds of residents took to the streets to voice their frustrations regarding land and adequate housing. Police shot rubber bullets at protesters after stones and gold balls were pelted at them.

A 15-year-old boy was hospitalised after a projectile hit him in the face.

Dyason added that a rent office was looted and set alight on Sunday evening.

"All the furniture inside was stolen and the staff members have been diverted to other areas," he said.

The provincial Department of Human Settlements strongly condemned the violence in Parkwood on Monday.

"While we respect the people's right to protest, violence and destruction cannot be tolerated," read a statement issued on behalf of Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela.

Madikizela said he met leaders in the area on Monday morning and it was agreed that a meeting to help find solutions be held on Tuesday.

"We urge the community to remain calm.  The government cannot condone lawlessness."

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