A total of 17 vehicles were damaged during protest action at Colchester in Nelson Mandela Bay on Thursday night‚ Eastern Cape police said on Friday.
The meeting at Colchester Community Hall was disrupted with “burning of objects at the entrance gates and stone throwing”‚ the SAPS said.
The meeting started at 6pm. About an hour later‚ a group of about 200 local community members barricaded the hall entrances at its gates with burning objects.
Seven vehicles were damaged with stones and rocks thrown at them. One Metro vehicle‚ a Nissan bakkie‚ also had a flammable object thrown inside the cab‚ causing fire damage to the seat‚ the SAPS said.
Some of the windows of the hall were also shattered by stones.
“Reduced rubber rounds” were used by public order police to disperse the stone-throwing crowd after their vehicles were also pelted with stones.
POPS members had to force open the gates in order to free the delegates that were trapped inside the hall.
By 9pm‚ some of the crowd moved to the N2 in Colchester where they attempted to close the road with burning tyres and objects and throwing stones at passing vehicles‚ the SAPS said.
A further nine vehicles including four trucks were damaged by these stone throwers.
The SAPS said their officials managed to clear the road and keep traffic flow open.
One 40-year-old man was arrested for taking a tyre to the N2. He will appear in court on Monday.
“Due to darkness and some of the street lights not working‚ more arrests were not possible as the stone throwers made use of the dense bushes next to the road.”
Motherwell Cluster Commander‚ Major Dawie Rabie‚ appealed to the city “for the lights to be repaired and some of the dense bushes be trimmed”.
“As SAPS we will not tolerate the damages caused to vehicles‚ buildings and infrastructure and the endangering of lives‚” he added.
Source: TMG Digital.