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Vehicles overturned, windows smashed in Hout Bay protest

By News24 3 July 2017

Cape Town – Vehicles have been overturned, windows smashed and temporary food trucks destroyed as Hout Bay protests enter the third day, authorities said on Monday.

City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for safety JP Smith asked police to use video footage of “rioters” engaged in public violence and damaging state and private property, to ensure individuals were prosecuted.

“The situation in Hout Bay has become serious and it is clear that it is no longer a matter of community protest, but has now entered the realm of sheer criminality,” Smith said.

“Every available city traffic law enforcement and metro police resource has been dispatched to Hout Bay to attempt to contain the situation.”

“Their [the protesters’] behaviour is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated in a democratic dispensation.”

On Monday morning, stun grenades were used to disperse an estimated 100 protesters in the area.

Victoria Road was reopened on Monday morning and traffic from the Main Road was diverted into Disa River Road and down Valley Road.

In a statement, Western Cape Police said personnel from public order policing, the stabilisation unit and Visible Policing had been deployed to the area.

Police are working closely with law enforcement agencies to quell the situation and to restore tranquillity to the area, spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut said.

It was unclear whether a meeting between the housing department and the Imizamo Yethu steering committee, set for Monday morning at 10:00, would continue.

Protests in the area started on Saturday when community members erected structures blocking traffic in roads.

In March, a huge fire tore through Imizamo Yethu, destroying hundreds of homes and leaving thousands of residents displaced.

City of Cape Town safety and security director Richard Bosman previously told News24 that the protest was over a lack of electricity and decent formal housing in Imizamo Yethu, which had allegedly been promised by Mayor Patricia de Lille to those displaced by the devastating fire in the area a few months ago.

Protesters claim they were promised better housing within three months of the fire.

Those displaced are currently staying at an interim housing area on Hout Bay’s sports field. DM

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