Irate Barcelona informal settlement residents have threatened to continue protest on the N2 until their “rightful” ANC councillor candidate is put on the registered list.
Alleged ANC members belonging to ward 40 in Nyanga said they wanted their “rightfully nominated” councillor candidate Bongani Mbili to be put on the list instead of Bongani Ngcombolo, who they claim they did not elect.
On Wednesday night, they took to the N2 outbound, at Borcherds Quarry, setting two Golden Arrow buses alight and stoning a number of vehicles driving by.
ANC Western Cape spokesman Yonela Diko denied that the protesters were in the ANC structures.
“These are acts of individuals who are taking advantage of problems we have had with candidate list processes to perpetuate a state of chaos that allows them to loot and rob innocent people.
“We rebuke this growing trend of hooligans who jump [onto the] bandwagon of protests and begin to commit crime and we want law enforcement to deal with such individuals as such,” Diko said.
The protest which started at around 6pm, and lasted for about two hours, forced road closures on both incoming and outgoing lanes causing traffic and leaving motorist to use alternative routes.
Public Order Police, Traffic, city authorities and ambulance were deployed to the scene.
Mayco member for Safety and Security JP Smith said during the protest action two suspects were arrested for robbing motorists with knives and replica firearm.
Golden Arrow Bus Services spokeswoman Bronwen Dyke said they were grateful that none of the commuters were injured.
She said: “They first stoned the bus and then set it alight, we are fortunate that no one was injured. For now everything has calmed, but we will be keeping a close eye for the safety of our drivers and passengers.
“We just hope that the people realise how serious and dangerous what they are doing is.”
Zukiswa Plaatjies, an ANC ward 40 member, said Wednesday night’s protest was an attempt to get their voices heard.
“We wore those yellow T-shirts to show that we are ANC members acting out and fighting against what was done to us.
“We did not choose or vote for Ngcombolo. We wanted Mbili and he won most of the votes. We did all that was expected of us the whole process, but we were shocked to see the ANC candidate poster with Ngcombolo’s face and not Mbili.”
Mawethu Tafana, deputy chairman of the Barcelona Informal Settlement, said Mbili was nominated in a public meeting held at the Luyolo Centre in Gugulethu about a month ago.
“The ANC members here are threatening to continue with the robust protest action and come August 3rd, they say no voting or Independent Electorate Commission official will enter the informal settlement,” said Tafana.
The Cape Argus contacted Ngcombolo, who declined to comment saying councillor candidate nomination process was followed.
Plaatjies on the other hand disagreed.
She said they had exhausted all channels in trying to get this councillor candidate issue rectified but were unsuccessful.
Plaatjies said: “We consulted our branch went to Sahara House and they shut their doors on us. We will not stop with this protest and will continue until our voice is heard. The ANC is our organisation, we love it and it is us that will discipline it when they are wrong. We will not vote until this issue is sorted and will continue this fight.”