Cape Town protests just 'politicking and thuggery' - DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela

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Bonginkosi Madikizela releases report into 4 children's death in Nyanga
Bonginkosi Madikizela releases report into 4 children's death in Nyanga
Marvin Charles
  • DA Western Cape Leader Bonginkosi Madikizela says Cape Town protests are “merely politicking and thuggery".
  • Residents are complaining about a lack of service delivery.
  • Police have arrested seven people on charges of public violence.

DA Western Cape leader Bonginkosi Madikizela has said recent protests in Cape Town are "merely politicking and thuggery masked as service delivery protests".

During the protests on Wednesday, one person was hit by a car and killed. Four police officers were also injured.

Provincial police spokesperson Andre Traut said: "Six protesters were arrested in Kraaifontein and one in Delft today on charges of public violence. They are scheduled to make a court appearance in Blue Downs once they have been charged. Yesterday, two protesters were arrested in Kraaifontein, also for public violence."Some protesters had thrown stones, burnt tyres and set a bus alight.

Madikizela said he believed the protests were "destabilisation tactics, and we cannot rule out the possibility that they are politically motivated".

"In close observation, one can also see a pattern emerging, where destabilisation tactics are used firstly to orchestrate land invasions, where people are charged money for plots, and then protest action is planned to demand services.

"The individuals behind these tactics do not only want to destabilise DA-led governments, but they want to force the government to prioritiae them before law-abiding citizens, who have been waiting for these services for years," Madikizela charged.

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But the EFF said the protests in Kraaifontein, Khayelitsha and Mfuleni were not politically motivated.

EFF Cape Metro chairperson Unathi Ntame said, while the party "supported" the protesters, they were organised by fed-up community members.

He said the protests were over a lack of basic services to communities in Kraaifontein, Mfuleni, Delft and Khayelitsha.

"We support them, and we sympathise with them. People want toilets. They moved onto the land a year ago, but they still have no water. It’s basic needs that they want. We understand their needs. During Covid-19, they were evicted because they were unable to pay rent and that’s why they expropriated the land," said Ntame.

However, Ntame added that the party did not condone the violence seen during the protests.

"Protest is a democratic right, but it must be exercised in a peaceful manner. We don’t condone setting things alight, or causing injury to people," he said.

Kraaifontein Community Advisory Services' (CAS) Linda Phito said, while the protests were over a lack of service delivery, they were driven by members of the EFF. He said that CAS was waiting for a response from the City of Cape Town about relocating to new land.

He added that the organisation did not support the protest and was, instead, in favour of negotiations with the City, or legal action should that fail.

"The protests are not by us. In the forefront is a political party which is pushing a political agenda," he said.

Western Cape Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said the protests had left him "deeply concerned".

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