Gatvol to face charges after R1.5m in damages

Smoke bombs were used to disperse crowds during the Gatvol Capetonians protest.
Smoke bombs were used to disperse crowds during the Gatvol Capetonians protest.

The City of Cape Town has laid criminal charges against the controversial group Gatvol Capetonians.

Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith has confirmed that the City has laid charges against the leader of the movement, Fadiel Adams.

According to Gatvol Capetonians, the protest held on Thursday 8 August had been aimed at highlighting the plight of backyard dwellers in the province and how they had been neglected as far as housing opportunities were concerned.

Heeding the movement’s call, several communities in Cape Town took to the streets to block off several entrances to major roads.

Smith said the total preliminary cost of damages incurred during the protest had been estimated to be more than R1.5m.

“The protests caused damages to road surfaces which will deteriorate much more rapidly due to the fire damage and will require resurfacing in the seven areas as well as damage to traffic lights and streetlights.

He bemoaned the loss of resources in other areas as a result of having to deploy more law enforcement personnel to affected areas.

“Damages to infrastructure is easier to calculate than the cost of emergency and policing staff who were unavailable due to the requirement for them to protect loss of life and infrastructure at the sites of protest,” said Smith.

“The City has laid criminal charges relating to incitement to violence and other offences against the national spokesperson of the organisation responsible for the illegal protests and more may follow in the next few days.”

‘I am being persecuted’

Adams said Thursday’s shutdown was “moderately successful” and said he is being “persecuted by the City of Cape Town”.

According to Smith, Cape Town mayor Dan Plato had attempted to contact the organiser of the protest but that Adams had not answered or returned Plato’s calls since the beginning of the week.

Adams said this was not true and that he did not understand why he was being charged with incitement of violence when he had told the City that the protests would be peaceful.

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