The member of the executive council for community safety in the Western Cape province Albert Fritz has welcomed the arrest of nine people allegedly involved in violent protests which have taken place across Cape Town during the week.
In a statement on Friday, Fritz confirmed the arrests were made on Wednesday and Thursday during protests in areas such as Khayelitsha, Kraaifontein and Delft which saw major roadways being closed due to burning tyres and rubble.
The suspects will appear at the Blue Downs magistrate’s court.
The protests were reportedly led by a group called Intlungu yaseMatyotyombeni which is demanding decent housing and basic service delivery.
“I welcome the arrests made as they send a strong message to anybody wishing to destabilise the province through violent protest action,” said Fritz.
“Let me be clear that citizens have a constitutional right to peaceful protest, whatever the issue may be, but when these protest actions become a pretext for violence and blatant criminality they cannot then be hidden behind the notion of unhappiness with service delivery.”
He said the real intention behind the protests was apparently to destabilise communities and that this seemed to be politically motivated.
The protests have tended to halt crucial services in the same affected communities, such as sanitation, education, healthcare and transport.
“The modus operandi is to wear the South African Police Service resources thin by appearing sporadically in different locations. I was, however, pleased to hear this morning (Friday) that all roads including the N2, Hindle Way, Mew Way and other affected roads were clear,” said Fritz.
Fritz urged anyone with information about those perpetuating the violence to contact the police, adding:
“We cannot allow the safety and stability of communities to be undermined by a few.”