Protesters cause chaos in Prince George Drive

The car that was torched on Prince George Drive on Monday night, April 16, during service delivery protests by Vrygrond residents.

Waves of protests about lack of service delivery washed over from Vrygrond and Capricorn to Prince George Drive on Monday April 16.

In the evening, a car was set ablaze, two passing cars were stoned, flats at the Marina intersection were stoned and the Pick n Pay Liqour store at Capricorn shopping centre was looted.

Two men, aged 16 and 34, were arrested on the roof of a spaza shop for public violence and a 27-year-old woman was arrested for the robbery of the Pick n Pay liquor store.

Captain Stephen Knapp of Muizenberg police station said that three cars were damaged in the evening outbreak of violence. One was torched by protesters and two others had windows smashed in by protesters.

Captain Frederick van Wyk of SAPS Western Cape confirmed that on Monday April 16, at approximately midday, SAPS responded to protest action in Prince George Drive, where he said residents of the Vrygrond community were burning tyres. Many theories were floated on social media about the reason for the protests.

A trusted Vrygrond resident, who did not want to be named, said the protests were about the City’s demolition of shacks that were built illegally on land not earmarked for this.

Captain Van Wyk said that SAPS wwere told the protests were about lack of service delivery.

He said during the course of the day sporadic incidents of public violence and the setting alight of tyres were reported. Captain Van Wyk said that cases of business robbery and public violence were opened.

The situation blew up in the evening when protesters poured out of Vrygrond and set fire to more tyres, stoned passing cars and the block of flats, and set fire to a parked car..

To add to the mayhem, there was an accident on Prince George Drive between a minibus taxi and private sedan. The screech of brakes and crash brought Marina da Gama residents to their fences, only to witness the riot in progress.

Residentsin Vrygrond who were dropped off after work by taxis fled the area on foot, screaming in terror, as rapid-fire gunshots were emptied into the dark from within Vrygrond.

Captain Knapp said SAPS members were continually deployed in the area, dealing with various issues of public violence.

The accident took place at 7.07pm and tyres at the traffic light intersection were already lit then.

SAPS arrived on the scene of the accident, metres from where the car was on fire, at 7.28pm.

Residents are asked to call 10111 and any of the City’s emergency numbers in situations such as this. The City’s help line is 021 480 7700.

Residents are asked to remain vigilant and take advice from any police members on the scene and contact Muizenberg SAPS on 021 787 9000/14/15 if in doubt about the situation.

Captain Knapp said the police presence would remain as long as the protests continue.