Vrygrond protests come to a halt

2018-05-21 13:42
Khadija Davids (left) says she has been waiting for a house in Vrygrond for over 20 years. Standing with here are Bonita Casper, Jodine Frankford and Megan Abrahams. (Christina Pitt, News24)

Khadija Davids (left) says she has been waiting for a house in Vrygrond for over 20 years. Standing with here are Bonita Casper, Jodine Frankford and Megan Abrahams. (Christina Pitt, News24)

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Violent land protests in Vrygrond, Cape Town, have seemingly come to an end following a confrontation between protesters and police on Monday.

City of Cape Town's law enforcement spokesperson Wayne Dyason said that earlier on Monday 30 to 40 protesters started stoning the police at Capricorn Square Shopping Centre. The police then retaliated by shooting at the crowd with rubber bullets.

"SAPS and law enforcement are monitoring the area. The area is currently quiet," he said.

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

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

"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.

Parkwood protest

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

The south-bound section of Prince George Drive between Military Road and Capricorn Square are closed.

A mere 8km away from Vrygrond, the Parkwood community is still recovering from a violent housing protest which occurred on Sunday.

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

Hundreds of residents took to the streets to voice their frustrations regarding land and adequate housing.

Police shot rubber bullets at protesters after they were pelted with stones and golf balls.

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

Police still monitoring the area

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.

Police and other law enforcement officers are still monitoring the area.

When News24 arrived on the scene, protesters were huddled around small fires and around 15 structures had been erected on the open field near Prince George Drive.

Khadija Davids (left) says she has been waiting for a house in Vrygrond for over 20 years. Standing with here are Bonita Casper, Jodine Frankford and Megan Abrahams. (Christina Pitt, News24)


"I am a backyard dweller and I have been on the waiting list for more than 20 years," Khadija Davids said.

"We took this land because we are tired of waiting. The police came here last night and pulled our pegs out of the ground and started shooting at us."

Political agenda

Bonita Casper said that police treated them "like animals".

"They demolished our shacks and took our pegs out. Then they started shooting at us," Casper said.

DA leader Bonginkosi Madikizela acknowledged the large number of housing protests throughout the Western Cape on eNCA on Monday.

Madikizela said that protests had occurred "sporadically and in a well-orchestrated manner". 

While also acknowledging that housing concerns should be addressed, he hinted that political agendas may be behind the protests in an effort to "pit groups against each other".

Madikizela will address the Parkwood community on Tuesday in his capacity as human settlements MEC.

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Read more on:    cape town  |  service delivery  |  protests

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