Khayelitsha Anarchy Disguised as Service Delivery Protest
I have just returned from a visit to Khayelitsha earlier today. The recent spate of public violence outbreaks in the area is of great concern to me. The type of behaviour we have seen, like torching of vehicles, barricading of roads and total disregard for the law is nothing short of anarchy and I strongly condemn these actions.
While I was there, and amid heavy police presence, a delivery vehicle was burnt to the ground. Police then closed off a section of Mew Way, so as to contain the situation. The reality is that as soon as the police move away from a particular area, the culprits literally hit and run, disappearing between the shacks. Hundreds of people stood watching by the side of the road, yet nobody claims to know anything about the perpetrators. As longs as communities shield these criminals, who disguise their actions as service delivery protests, the chaos will continue.
Two suspects have already been arrested in connection with public violence and will appear in court soon.
I have also noted a newspaper article this morning alluding to further threats of protest action and I am appealing to the police to collect and use all available evidence and information to bring about more arrests. It must not stop there though. These matters must be properly investigated so that the arrests can translate into convictions. People have to live within the framework of the law and realise that there are consequences for their actions.
Protest action of itself is not necessarily a bad thing, and in a constitutional democracy one has the right to protest. However, when protest action is synonymous with violence and destruction, the message is lost and the results are often tragic.
These acts of violence are usually fuelled by a small minority, yet the implications affect the greater majority of residents. My concern is for the safety of that majority of law abiding residents.
Police presence in Khayelitsha has been intensified and they will continue to be on high alert until the area has been stabilised and brought under control.
Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz
Cell: 078 887 7004