Cape Town firefighters attacked 3 times in last 48 hours while trying to douse flames

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
(File)
(File)
PHOTO: Gallo Images
  • Firefighters rushing to fire emergencies have been attacked, including with petrol bombs.
  • Many more emergency services have also been ambushed, attacked and targeted.
  • Attackers have been branded "cowards" by the City of Cape Town, and warned the attacks will hurt those most in need.


Cape Town firefighters saving people and property from flames have been attacked three times in just 48 hours, as violent protests engulf some areas of the city this week.

The attackers have been labelled "cowards" for their violence against the essential emergency service, as protests over land hit many areas around the N2 over the past few days.

On Thursday, the City of Cape Town's Mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith, said: "After a stoning incident in Khayelitsha on Tuesday, a petrol bomb was hurled at a fire truck in Mfuleni just hours later.

"The fire engine was en route to a call when they were attacked at the Bosasa TRA just after 19:30."

He said: 

The attackers threw stones at the vehicle, but also a petrol bomb. Staff saw flames on the right side of the crew cab, but they didn't stop and drove to the Blue Downs police station instead.

"Fortunately, the vehicle didn't catch alight, and no one was injured," Smith said.

But the attacks had not stopped.

Smith explained: "Fast-forward 24 hours and the same happened to another fire vehicle in Mfuleni while under police escort. The roof lining caught alight, but staff were able to extinguish the flames in time."

During approximately the same time period, the City reported similar attacks on other essential agencies, including:
  • Four EMS teams came under attack on Monday. One of the teams had a patient in their ambulance at the time of the attack.
  • A Dial-A-Ride vehicle which provides transport to disabled people in communities was stoned, injuring passengers and damaging the vehicle.
  • Firefighters on their way to a fire in Khayelitsha were surrounded and their vehicle stoned. The firefighters were not seriously injured. However, the vehicle was damaged and will now be out of commission until it can be repaired.
  • A refuse removal truck was set alight.
  • Damage to schools, including the destruction of a classroom, a library and a school hall.
  • After attacks on its staff, Eskom has withdrawn services to certain parts of Khayelitsha and Mfuleni meaning that faults in these areas will not be attended to.
  • A Golden Arrow bus was petrol bombed in Mfuleni in the early hours of Wednesday.

"The City condemns these cowardly attacks on our staff. The Fire and Rescue Service is there to assist communities. The ongoing attacks on staff could seriously impact on service delivery to our most vulnerable communities, as crews will not be entering flashpoint areas without police escorts, which will slow down response times to fires and other emergencies," Smith said.

"I renew my call on the public to please report any information they may have about those responsible for the violence to our Public Emergency Communication Centre by dialling 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline."


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Facebook is facing a fresh crisis after a former employee turned whistle-blower leaked internal company research. Do you still use Facebook?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, the benefits outweigh the risk for me
32% - 2411 votes
No, I have deleted it
38% - 2853 votes
Yes, but I am considering deleting it
31% - 2328 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.57
+0.7%
Rand - Pound
20.08
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
16.98
+0.3%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.88
-0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.5%
Gold
1,780.87
+0.9%
Silver
23.79
+2.4%
Palladium
2,082.50
+3.1%
Platinum
1,054.11
+1.5%
Brent Crude
84.33
-0.6%
Top 40
60,320
+0.4%
All Share
66,912
+0.4%
Resource 10
64,002
+1.0%
Industrial 25
84,631
+0.3%
Financial 15
13,990
-0.3%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE