Solidarity: Residents attack police during protest

30 04 2009

Note:  Solidarity with residents of Site C, Khayelitsha who, when first attacked by oppression and then by the police, defend themselves with burning tires and stones.

April 29 2009 at 12:29PM
By Nomangesi Mbiza and Natasha Prince

Source:  IOL

Lansdowne Road in Khayelitsha was turned into a war zone for the second consecutive night as residents vented their fury over service delivery problems, forcing police to close the road in the face of stonings and burning of tyres and rubbish.

The protesting residents in Site C charged that they had seen no change in the area in 15 years, with conditions now deteriorating further.

“We have no toilets, no water and no electricity, and we are being forced to connect electricity illegally,” said resident Justice Tshaka.On Tuesday municipal workers spent much of the day clearing the charred remains of rubbish, tyres and three containers after protests on Monday night, sparked by the arrest of four residents accused of stealing electricity.

Last night protests resumed in both the AT and BT sections of Site C, with the police closing Lansdowne Road and diverting traffic after residents started stoning cars.

Another resident, Nawakhe Kula, said her husband had died in 2008 after he was hit by a car while crossing the road to throw water down a drain opposite them.

“We don’t have drains and toilets. We don’t have anything and speeding cars make the situation worse,” she said.

Kula said the police could “come and shoot us” because they would continue blockading the road “until someone come to address us”.

“We are actually not scared of police any more because we are tired of being isolated and treated like we don’t exist,” she said.

Khayelitsha police spokesperson Constable Mthokozisi Gama confirmed that residents had initially become angry on Monday when they arrived to arrest the four, charged with stealing electricity from one of their neighbours.

The resident who laid the charge claimed she had got an electricity account of about R1 500 for a single month after four neighbours connected their homes to her power source without her consent.

Last night one of the four was released on bail, with the others due to be released today.

o This article was originally published on page 1 of Cape Argus on April 29, 2009

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