From the news desk

Case of public violence investigated after Gugulethu Fire Station blaze


A case of public violence has been opened for investigation after the Gugulethu Fire Station was set alight in protest action at 04h25 on Thursday morning. Some 150 residents of the Cyril Ramaphosa informal settlement reportedly stoned the fire station and burned a Nissan LDV in front of the fire station. According to the South African Police Service (SAPS), protesters had raised concerns around a lack of water and electricity in the area.

SAPS spokesperson, captain FC van Wyk, said the vehicle that was set alight in the incident was reportedly hijacked in Nyanga earlier the same morning.

“SAPS members took action to disperse the riotous crowd. One fireman was reportedly injured [after being] thrown with a stone in the face. The electricity department is also damaged. Four vehicles [were] reported burned,” he confirmed.

Firefighters were forced to vacate the premises to the drill yard until Metro Police and Law Enforcement officers attended to the scene.

City Fire and Rescue spokesperson Theo Layne said the front of the station sustained severe damage in the blaze.

“In addition to the Fire Station, the Fizeka offices at the rear of the station were also set alight. One office section sustained severe damage. Firefighters from Mitchell’s Plain Fire Station responded to the incident, but due to blocked roadways, caused by protesters burning tyres, had to take a long detour in order to get to Gugulethu Fire Station. Fortunately no injuries occurred,” Layne explained.

In footage from the scene protesters can seen hurling stones at the fire station’s entrance.

Van Wyk said no arrests have been made as yet.

“The situation is still being monitored. Police and other law enforcement agencies will remain in the area until law and order is restored,” he added.

Meanwhile, four cars and a store had been set alight at the electricity depot near NY 78 Gugulethu. The City Fire and Rescue Services said the blaze was due to protest action.

VOC 91.3fm


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