News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Friday August 23rd 2019

Dunoon damaged in land battle

A MyCiTi bus station in Dunoon was badly damaged by protestors attempting to invade vacant land in and next to the township over the weekend 18 - 21 March. Photo: Peter Luhanga/WCN

A MyCiTi bus station in Dunoon was badly damaged by protestors attempting to invade vacant land in and next to the township over the weekend 18 - 21 March. Photo: Peter Luhanga/WCN


A MyCiTi bus was set alight, law enforcement vehicles stoned and MyCiTi infrastructure vandalised as protests over land for housing in Dunoon ntered their fourth day yesterday. (Tues)

Protestors also stoned motorists along the N7 and Potsdam Road on Sunday and Monday.

The protestors who have been invading pockets of land in Dunoon are mostly backyard dwellers and have been engaged in running battles with police since they first began erecting shacks illegally on Friday.

heir attempts to build on vacant land met with a swift response from the City’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit, Metro Police and the SAPS. The land invasions which spilled onto privately-owned land on the other side of the N7 which runs next to Dunoon were also quickly quelled as SAPS and Metro Police removed pegs placed by people marking out their plots.

Ward councillor Lubabalo Makeleni said protestors demanded he authorise their land invasion but he refused.

When West Cape News approached residents marking out their plots on which they intended to build homes on Sunday, they refused to discuss anything other than to say their story will be ready to tell once they have successfully invaded the land.

At the time there were three police Nyala’s guarding City-owned land which used to be a sports field while 20 police cars lined Potsam Road.

On Monday, City mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith, said four Metro Police vehicles had been damaged by stones thrown by protesters with the police responding by firing rubber bullets in an attempt to prevent protestors from further damaging MyCiTi bus infrastructure and attacking metro cops.

The City’s mayco member for transport, Brett Herron, condemned the destruction of MyCiTi infrastructure.

Herron said Sunday’s attack on MyCiTi infrastructure was the second in less than a week after illegal taxi operators in Joe Slovo Park in Milnerton vandalised the MyCiTi Phoenix station in Omuramba Road, causing damage to the station roller shutter doors and the front entrance, the cash office windows and entrance canopy sheets.

He said the City is extremely concerned about the attacks on City infrastructure over the past few days.

“Vandalism and the destruction of City property, coupled with intimidation and threats to our personnel and law abiding citizens, is unacceptable. We cannot tolerate this behaviour and I am urging the South African Police Service to please bring the perpetrators to book as a matter of urgency,” said Herron.

At the time of going to print, the area was still tense, with a strong presence of law enforcement agencies.

About 30 Metro Police cars had been lined up along Potsdam Road overlooking the pocket of land targeted for invasion. The residents are camping on the periphery of the land.

On Monday night Smith said a MyCiTi bus was petrol bombed. However, West Cape News could not located the bombed MyCiTi bus. Police officers at the scene said the protestors petrol bombed a MyCiTi bus station on Sunday.

In Dunoon, the main road, Dumani Road, was strewn with rubble and charred material.

The MyCiTi bus service to Dunoon has been temporarily suspended, with buses now turning at Killarney Golden Arrow bus terminus.

In the meantime, 11 land invaders have been arrested, a number confirmed by a senior police official at the scene who cannot be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media. — Peter Luhanga

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