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Protests rife in Dunoon, Joe Slovo

Protest marches and demands for housing continued to spread throughout Dunoon and Joe Slovo at the weekend, with many people gathering to torch buses and trucks.

This resulted in a MyCiTi bus and station being set alight at Race Course Road in Milnerton. This is the second bus to be torched in the area at the weekend as protests continue in Dunoon and Joe Slovo. Early on Saturday 20 June another bus was set alight. City of Cape Town traffic spokesperson, Maxine Bezuidenhout, said no injuries were reported.

“At approximately 22:00 on Saturday 20 June a MyCiTi bus was set alight in Race Course Road between Omarumba and Koeberg Roads. No injuries were reported. Race Course Road was reopened just before 23:00,” Bezuidenhout said.

The protests started earlier this month after the demolition of shacks erected on vacant land near the Killarney International Raceway, triggering riots in the area.

According to Dunoon councillor, Lubabalo Makeleni, the planned 1 500 temporary shelter units for the Dunoon elderly and disabled in an effort to curb the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, sparked outrage in the communities.

“This has unfortunately triggered unknown protesters to target trucks and buses. We cannot identify who these protestors are. This makes it difficult for the police to arrest anyone,” he said.

Makeleni added that the protests are unacceptable and described the protestors as a syndicate holding the rest of the community at ransom.

“The protests have put strain on the housing project for the disabled and elderly to ensure that Covid-19 does not continue to spread in the community. Other groups said they want this piece of land that is intended for the disabled and elderly. Many are unhappy about this project and the temporary shelters that will be built. They are demanding houses for themselves. Dunoon is already a Covid-19 hotspot with residents doing as they please,” he said.

The Table View and Milnerton community police forums alerted the community on Facebook, urging them to avoid Koeberg Road between Plattekloof and Blaauwberg Roads, and to find alternative routes.

Police spokesperson, Col Andrè Traut, said, “A case of public violence is being investigated and no one has been arrested as yet. Police members reacted to the protest and the crowd was dispersed.”

The City of Cape Town’s Mayco member for transport, Felicity Purchase, said the violent attacks on the MyCiTi service in the Milnerton and Dunoon areas at the weekend marks one of the worst in the 10-year history of the MyCiTi service.

“The cost of replacing the buses and to repair the station could be at least R8 million.”

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