Langa protests 'politically motivated'

Disgruntled residents went on a rampage during service delivery protests in Langa.

All entrances to Langa were closed to traffic due to a violent protest in the area on 9 July 2014. Picture: Shamiela Fisher/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Cape Town city bosses say they believe Wednesday's violent service delivery protest in Langa was politically motivated.

Disgruntled residents went on a rampage in the area by burning tyres and electricity poles across roads, stoning vehicles and damaging property.

While some community members were threatened, several stores were looted and all entrances to Langa were closed to traffic.

Even Emergency Management Services (EMS) staff were prevented from entering the township.

EMS spokesperson Robert Daniels said ambulances were still being prevented from entering, despite protests dying down.

At least 20 people have since been arrested on charges of public violence.

The City of Cape Town's JP Smith has condemned the protesters' behaviour.

"Masquerading criminal activities under the banner of a legitimate protest activity is absolutely deplorable and deserves to be met with contempt by the greater Cape Town community."

He says they know these protests are about politics.

"With protests issues we've had elsewhere over the last few days, members of the public come forward and explicitly point out the ANC councillors that were involved in mobilising and organising these protests. So we're under no illusions about what's going on here and the attempt to make the city look ungovernable."

Meanwhile, Langa residents say they will continue to demonstrate until Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille visits the area.

The group has accused the city of doing nothing to help residents in their plight for adequate housing.

One resident says while she agrees that the city could do more to address their needs, she does not support the violent protests.

"No one is going to take them seriously if they are toy-toying and looting. Don't vandalise what the city's already done for us."

Police will maintain a heavy presence in the area amid fears protests may continue.