Additional manpower sent to quell Bay protests

Picture: Brian Witbooi

Additional manpower has been sent to Nelson Mandela Bay in an attempt to quell the ongoing protests near Motherwell which have left the road surfaces damaged and two vehicles completely gutted.

The protests have been ongoing since Tuesday morning when residents blocked the Addo Road in Motherwell and later moved to the N2 where cars were pelted with stones.

Two cases of damage to infrastructure, due to damage to the roads, as well as another five cases for malicious damage to property and seven cases of public violence were opened by this morning.

In two of the cases, a truck and a bakkie were gutted when protestors threw petrol bombs at them while they were travelling on the N2 near Bluewater Bay.

By this morning the protests had come to a halt, with police monitoring the situation in case it flared up.

Captain Andre Beetge said the action by the protestors was strongly condemned and that the N2 freeway, which serves as the main route in and out of Nelson Mandela Bay, had also been a target of the violence.

Beetge said an ambulance and two police vehicles were among those damaged when angry protestors pelted stones at passing vehicles.
Motherwell cluster commander Major-General Dawie Rabie said there was a difference between protesting and throwing stones and petrol bombs at moving vehicles.

Rabie said these actions could lead to the injury or death of innocent motorists.

“We will review possible video evidence obtained and aim to identify the suspects and instigators involved in these public violence cases and bring these perpetrators to book.”

By late this morning no arrests had been made.

Eastern Cape top cop Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga said lawlessness would not be tolerated and, as such, more resources had been deployed to contain public violence in the Bay.

“The police must protect the rights of all citizens and we will not tolerate protestors damaging property or injuring innocent parties. Protestors will be arrested and held accountable,” she said.

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