The OR Tambo community hall in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, has been torched, the City of Cape Town said on Sunday.
“Yesterday [Saturday] the city’s sport, recreation and amenities department hosted a youth games event at the OR Tambo Hall in Khayelitsha,” said mayoral committee member for community services Belinda Walker in a statement.
“Reports have come in that thirty participants fell ill due to suspected food poisoning. These participants were taken to the Khayelitsha Hospital for medical treatment and overnight observation.”
During the afternoon, while parents were being briefed about the situation, a group of community members entered the hall under the impression the meeting was related to housing development and service delivery.
“After officials explained to the community members the reason for the meeting they dispersed,” said Walker.
“During the early hours of this [Sunday] morning the community members returned to the community hall and torched the building.”
The kitchen was completely destroyed and other parts of the building suffered
minor structural damages, with the entire facility suffering “severe” smoke damage.
The city was yet to determine the extent of the damages and financial loss, while it was also assessing the impact of implementing emergency repairs.
“The city will launch an investigation into the matter of food poisoning due to refreshments supplied by the service provider… and will, if necessary, take action,” Walker said.
“The city’s law enforcement agencies and the SAPS Public Order Policing Service have been deployed to maintain law and order to the area.”