One dead‚ two injured in Mitchells Plain violence

Police reinforcements have been deployed in Mitchells Plain‚ where one person has died and two have been injured in violent service delivery protests.

Two police officers walk past burning debris after service delivery protests by the Siqalo informal settlement blocked Jakes Gerwel Drive in Cape Town on Wednesday 2 May 2018. Picture: ANTHONY MOLYNEAUX

Residents living in the Siqalo informal settlement – demanding access to land and electricity – have been involved in a tense stand-off with police and their neighbours in Mitchells Plain.

One person died when a taxi ploughed through a barricade during the protests on Wednesday night. A community leader told TimesLIVE that the taxi driver “had no choice” as his vehicle‚ with passengers inside‚ had come under attack.

Police spokesman Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said on Thursday that violence overnight had claimed one life. Two people suffered gunshot wounds.

“The area is relatively quiet at the moment. The SAPS has reinforced its deployment with additional POPS members and Tactical Response Teams patrolling the area in an effort prevent flare-up incidents. They are working with metro police‚” said Rwexana.

At least 30 people were arrested for public violence. They were due to appear in court in Athlone on Thursday.

The protests have sharply divided neighbouring communities along class and racial lines and ignited a fierce debate on social media about the rights of both formal and informal residents being trampled on.

Yumna Cook tweeted: “We are basically being held hostage in our homes. Can’t go to work or we have to leave in the early hours just to avoid the havoc. I wonder if the government will pay off my bond if I was to destroy people’s property. @PatriciaDeLille is this Siqalo situation even on your radar?”

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