By Bobby Stevenson (MPL), Shadow MEC for Safety and Security:
The empty promises of the ANC around housing and basic service delivery are a direct cause of the community’s frustrations which have boiled over into violent protest in Walmer today and yesterday.
A DA group of public representatives consisting of Andrew Whitfield MP, ward councillor Dave Hayselden and councillor Thobani Noqoli (who lives in Walmer Township), Marshall von Buchenroder MPL and myself witnessed first-hand the protest.
This has resulted in businesses and schools closing, cars being stoned and a truck being set alight as well as the burning of tyres. We condemn the opportunistic criminal element that has engaged in unlawful activities.
Violence can never ever be justified. It appears that the police were under-prepared and did not contain the situation around the entrance to Walmer Township and allowed it to spill over into Main Road, Walmer.
We believe that in a fair society, the municipality must have on-going and meaningful engagement with the community to try and resolve grievances in a truthful manner.
At the same time the SAPS has a duty to maintain law and order and ensure the residents of our communities feel safe and can exercise freedom of movement without being subject to stoning and other harassment.