Suspect nabbed with petrol bomb at Langa protest

2016-09-20 17:51
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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Housing protest erupts in Langa

2016-09-20 11:37

A service delivery protest in Langa on the Cape Flats has turned violent. WATCH

Cape Town - One suspect had been arrested with a petrol bomb and 33 others were being held for public violence at a housing protest in Langa, police said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said police remained on scene after the protests started during the course of Monday night.

Police used rubber bullets to disperse the crowds, and by 10:00 on Tuesday morning, 18 people had been arrested.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said that, in the early hours of Tuesday morning, protesters had attempted to close the N2 by lighting numerous fires.

The highway, however, remained open.

Threats to torch council buildings were also received.

Commuters warned of delays

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. These negotiations are still underway, Smith said.

Metrorail reported that several track boxes, signals and apparatus cases had been extensively damaged between Bonteheuwel and Langa stations.

Obstructions had also been set alight and placed on the tracks, and staff vehicles had been stoned.

Some trains remained in operation, but commuters were warned of major delays.

Repairs could take several days, the rail transport provider said.

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

Plastic garbage bins were set on fire and used to barricade the roads during the Langa protests. (City of Cape Town)

'Selfish agenda'

Western Cape Regional manager Richard Walker condemned the damaging of infrastructure as short-sighted and self-defeating.

"This is infrastructure expected to assist with the transport of learners and workers tomorrow – innocent people are now being deprived of transport for a selfish agenda. We call on investigative authorities to find the instigators and perpetrators of such incidents and to apply the law to its full extent."

Protesters earlier also set alight the local post office and reportedly looted a shop.

Vehicles were also 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, Smith said.

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

Read more on:    cape town  |  protests

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