WATCH | Cape Town café staffer injured as police water cannon blasts her into restaurant

  • One moment a woman was waiting to seat patrons at a famous Cape Town coffee shop, the next moment she was hit by a powerful jet of water. It punched her back on to the floor of her restaurant.
  • This was during protesting by the hospitality industry outside Parliament in Cape Town.
  • About 200 protesters joined the action on Friday.

A Cape Town restaurant staffer recounted how she was smashed back into her coffee shop by a powerful jet of water fired from a water cannon during a protest by hospitality industry workers outside Parliament.

Bridgette Wutoh was on duty as a front-of-house hostess, with the responsibility of seating patrons at Truth Coffee. She had been watching the protesters pass the café - followed closely by an entourage of police.

News24 witnessed her ordeal as a jet of water swept across the front of the restaurant, sending furniture flying.

The jet then hit Wutoh and threw her several metres back through glass doors into the establishment, the Truth Coffee cafe in Buitengracht Street, in the precinct east of Parliament.

This as around 200 protesters were dispersed from outside Parliament's gates, marching for awareness of the plight of the hospitality industry during lockdown.

WATCH | 'You've been warned, disperse!' - Cape Town police get tough on tourism protesters

She was immediately taken inside by colleagues, where a first aid practitioner dealt with her injured leg.

Later, nursing cuts and bruises, she told News24: "We opened as usual and were working, and I was the door lady today and there was a protest, a peaceful protest and the police started firing water cannons at everyone.

"I did a recording of it, and while I was doing it, they shoved the cannon at me and I literally flew from outside to inside, and let me show you. I'm sure my whole body is bruised but seeing as I'm wearing jeans I can't show you. I did a recording of it."

Asked how she felt, she replied: "I'm not good. I don't like the way they did it because we were social distancing, taking videos peacefully, everything was peaceful and then they started doing that to us."

'You've sprayed my shop full of water'

"What they did is bad, we did nothing, nothing…"

Ken Walton from Truth Coffee was heard demanding of the police leadership on the scene: "Who's going to pay for this? You're damaging our equipment! You've sprayed my shop full of water! This is not right!"

He told News24: "The SAPS have just sprayed my shop full of water. They've disturbed our business and they're stopping our customers coming in.

"All we're doing is trying to say, peacefully, that tourism should be open - that we should be able to actually serve our customers."

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