Cape Town: Police shoot into community during their attempt to cut off water to 1800 homes

26 09 2001

Wednesday, September 26, 2001

Tafelsig erupts into war as Cape Town Unicity cuts off entire community’s
water

The community set up burning barricades all day to try and prevent the
Mitchells Plein entire police force from coming in to help Council cut off
the water of 1800 households.

Ishmael and Faizel from the Anti-Eviction Campaign have collected the shells that were shot in Louise Street and Erica Street. The police shot 15 people, some with rubber bullets and some with live ammunition. Ishmael and Faizel have the live ammunition shells as proof. The community picked up each and every shell fired at them.

A 5 year old was shot in the back by police and another woman was shot three times.

What is worrying is that some of the people who were shot seem to be
missing. I & F have only located some of the injured, and the rest were
taken away by the police after being shot. The Campaign is on their way to
lay charges of police brutality and attempted murder at the police station.

The 8 people who were arrested are expected to be freed later on this
evening as the community is mobilising to go to the police station.
Apparently Captain Lang told two or three people in the crowd to get the
others to disperse within 5 minutes or he would give the order to shoot. He
didn’t even make an announcement.

Zain Cook, Argus journalist, was hit by a rubber bullet and a stun grenade.
He has also the shell from the rubber bullet that hit him.Things are still
burning and the blockades and barric ades are still up. It is suspected that
the police might call in the military.

Eyewitness Ashraf Cassiem (the person whose face was kicked in by 3 police
on the front page of the Argus last year during one of the first Tafelsig
evictions) gave this account 5 minutes ago:

“There seem to be a million police in the area. People are standing outside
everywhere in the street weeping openly. The private workers and protection services have succeeded in carrying out most of the 1800 water cut offs. The riot police were called in around lunchtime and succeeded in having a stand off with most of the community while the others went ahead cutting off water and removing the meters. People are desperately trying to reconnect their water with pieces of old hosepipe, or any pipe, and string – it doesn’t seem to be working out. There is a feeling of crisis as so many households have been cut off. Nobody knows where they can go now to get water.”

The person at the scene is Faizel – 082 5457883 – you can contact him to
join the Anti-Eviction Campaign – faiz@union.org.za

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