Petrol bomb suspect, 37 Langa protesters appear in court

2016-09-21 13:47
Rocks lay strewn across the road in front of police vehicles during protests in Langa. (City of Cape Town)

Rocks lay strewn across the road in front of police vehicles during protests in Langa. (City of Cape Town)

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Cape Town - A man arrested with a petrol bomb and 37 people who protested over housing in Langa on Tuesday appeared in court on Wednesday, the Western Cape NPA said.

Forty people were arrested for public violence and intimidation but only 37 appeared in Bishop Lavis Magistrate's Court, said spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila.

Three minors would have a separate court case.

He said the 37 were granted bail of R300 each. They would appear in court again on October 11.

Western Cape police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut confirmed the petrol bomb suspect was also granted R300 bail.

Ntabazalila said 35 other people went to the Langa police station on Tuesday night to demand the release of those who had earlier been arrested. They were then arrested themselves but have not yet appeared in court.

No violent incidents were reported in Langa on Wednesday morning, said the city's law enforcement spokesperson Robbie Roberts.

City traffic spokesperson Yolande Faro said traffic on the N2 highway was free-flowing.

Langa residents who were fed up with slow housing service delivery attempted to close the N2 on Tuesday morning by lighting numerous fires on the highway.

Police officers hurt

Traut said protesters, attempting to prevent commuters from going to work, had also thrown stones at trains.

Protesters set alight the local post office and reportedly looted a shop and vehicles were stoned on Jakes Gerwel Drive and Bluegum Road.

Three metro police officers were hurt during the protest, one in the leg, another in the face and a third in the hand, said the city's safety and security mayoral committee member JP Smith.

He said the ward councillor and negotiators from the City of Cape Town had met with residents at a local hall in an attempt to calm the situation.

According to police, about 1 000 people took part in the protest.

Train service suspended

A train was torched between the Bellville and Tygerberg stations.

Traut confirmed they were investigating the incident.

A large amount of equipment, including signals, was damaged during the protest over housing.

Metrorail said it would take several days to be repaired.

Burning obstacles were put on the railway lines and protesters threw stones at staff vehicles.

Metrorail suspended trains in the central service corridor on Tuesday.

All stations on the Khayelitsha and Kapteinsklip corridor would be closed on Wednesday morning, for the safety of both commuters and staff. No buses would be provided due to the large number of commuters who use this service.

Regional manager Richard Walker said they would not risk operating trains to the area. He called on authorities to bring the protest, which was unrelated to the rail service, to an end to protect lives and state assets.

Read more on:    metrorail  |  cape town  |  protests

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