Police, protesters face off in Somerset West over land invasion attempt

2019-04-10 16:48
(Supplied, Kenny Africa)

(Supplied, Kenny Africa)

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A violent housing-related protest in Somerset West led to the closure of part of the N2 in Cape Town on Wednesday as police and protesters face off.

City of Cape Town law enforcement spokesperson Wayne Dyason told News24 that the highway had been closed between Victoria and Broadlands roads as cars were stoned and tyres were set alight.

Ward councillor Jongidumo Maxheke told News24 locals had attempted to put up structures on privately owned land along the highway, following a housing meeting two days ago.

On Wednesday, the City of Cape Town, police and the Red Ants intervened, removing the structures and "then the problems started".

Rubber bullets were fired at protesters after tyres were set alight and stones were thrown at authorities.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said a 25-year-old man had been arrested for public violence.

She said the group of about 350 protesters "became violent" and "action was taken to disperse the crowd".

Cases of public violence and trespassing are under investigation.

Maxheke said no demands were aired with him before the protest and no memorandum had been received.

Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa advised motorists to use alternative routes.

News24 earlier reported that 17 people had been arrested in Blackheath, about 30km from Somerset West, following service delivery protests in the Happy Valley area since Monday.

Authorities confirmed that 15 men and two women were arrested for allegedly throwing petrol bombs.

About 1 000 people had participated in the protest action.

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Read more on:    cape town  |  land  |  protests

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