Media statement from the South African Police Service, Media Centre, Eastern Cape
The cowardly acts of arson where five (5) homes and two (2) vehicles were gutted last night and approximately nine (9) persons treated at the local hospital after violent protests erupted at Bathurst near Port Alfred have been condemned in the strongest terms by Eastern Cape Police Senior Management.
It is alleged that the incidents started at about 5pm on [February] 10, when local political party agents took part in a motorcade. During the motorcade, groups of community members started throwing stones at vehicles and attacked other members of the community. At the same time, reports were received of a house that was set alight. A short while later three more reports were received of homes being burnt in separate locations. Reports of vehicles that were also apparently burnt were received.
Several cases including arson, malicious damage to property and assault have been opened and are under investigation. Five (5) suspects, aged between 20 and 55 have been arrested and more arrests are imminent. The suspects will appear in the Port Alfred Magistrates Court soon.
Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen Liziwe Ntshinga strongly condemned the coward acts of arson.
“We cannot allow people to burn or torch other peoples’ houses or property despite any disagreements or reasons. The 72-hour Activation Plan has been implemented to investigate, track, arrest and bring to justice those suspected and responsible for such violent acts within this community,” she said earlier today.
Enquiries Brigadier Thembinkosi Kinana 082 301 7699