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Police investigate public violence

The Mbekweni police have confirmed they are investigating two cases of public violence, after several incidents were reported.

The first occurred on 26 January at 19:45 in Swartberg Street, OR Tambo block when the Winelands Cluster police team was conducting a stop-and-search operation in that area.

Nceba Vanqa, spokesperson of Mbekweni, said: “When the police stopped and searched a suspect they found a knife his possession.”

As police were arresting the suspect people threw stones at them and their vehicles. They called for reinforcement at the scene to subdue the crowd.

“Boland Pops members arrived and used stun grenades and tear gas to calm the situation,” Vanqa related. “No-one sustained any injuries in the process.”

A public violence case docket was registered. No-one was arrested.

In the second incident, which occurred on 27 January at 09:10 at Freedom Street, also in OR Tambo block, the police had responded to a complaint about fighting in Madodana Street Silvertown.

Said Vanqa: “On their arrival on the scene police members were informed by one of bystanders that it was his brother who was being assaulted, and he was taken to OR Tambo block by [his attackers]. The police followed and drove to the place.

“A group of people was standing in front of a house in Freedom Street and the victim was inside. The police tried to stop them and called for back-up.”

They managed to pull the victim out of the house, where he was being assaulted with wood and blocks.

“As police put the victim in the police vehicle, the community started surrounding the van, and one Sgt Vanana had to give two warning shots so they would make way for him and his colleagues,” said Vanqa.

It was then that a community member shattered a window of the police bakkie using a wooden stick, but the victim was rushed away from the scene and taken to Paarl Hospital.

As in the other case, a public violence case docket was also opened. One suspect was arrested and appeared on 29 January in the Wellington Magistrate Court.

Anyone with further information, can contact the Mbekweni Police station on 021 868 9900.

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