The Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, condemns the spate of violent protest action which affected both directions of the N2 highway, Mew Way, Baden Powell, R300 and Hindle Road starting in the early hours of yesterday morning. The protest action has affected communities including Khayelitsha, Langa, Philippi, Nyanga, Mfuleni and Kraaifontein.
It is reported that protests are being led by a group called Intlungu yaseMatyotyombeni who were protesting housing and basic service delivery. The group reportedly consists of between 50 and 60 people who have been burning rubble and tires and throwing stones.
Minister Fritz said, “While everyone has the constitutional right to protest, resorting to violence and destruction is simply unacceptable. It is dangerous and illegal to do so at the expense of the rights of others, especially their right to safety, to property and to move freely.”
Minister Fritz added, Violent protest must be condemned in the strongest terms and I remind residents that the destruction of personal and public property is criminal. This action further threatens to undermine the economic opportunities of many residents in our province, as well as further delay serve delivery to affected communities.”
Minister Fritz added, “I have been informed by SAPS in the Western Cape that a Public Order Policing (POPs) unit was deployed to the scene and will continue to monitor the protests. The SAPS is still trying to verify unconfirmed reports of taxi drivers firing warning shots at a group of protesters in Makhaza.”
Minister Fritz added further, “I call for calm in the affected communities. Anyone with information on those reportedly perpetuating these crimes is asked to immediately come forward and report such to SAPS. We cannot allow the safety and stability of communities to be undermined by a few. Further, anyone with information pertaining to the warning shots allegedly fired by taxi-drivers in Makhaza is asked to report such to their local SAPS, call Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or use the Tip Off function on the MySAPS cellphone application.”