Grabouw unrest: WC education MEC lays criminal charges

Debbie Schafer says over 6,000 learners have been affected by the unrest in the area.

Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer leaves the Cape Town Police Station where the charges were laid. Picture: Chanel September/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Grabouw Civic Association (GCA) has been accused of fomenting tensions in the Overberg town.

Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer has laid criminal charges against the leadership of several groups she says are fuelling the violence.

She says schooling been disrupted by the unrest.

Over 6,000 learners have apparently been affected.

Schafer has laid charges against the African National Congress, the Ses'Khona People's Rights Movement and the GCA.

She claims to have evidence these groups are behind the violent protest.

Schafer said the charges relate to the South African Schools Act.

Fresh violence has erupted in the area following yesterday's violent service delivery protest.

Some shops were looted last night, while protesters tried to barricade the N2 Highway early this morning.

GRABOUW SERVICE DELIVERY PROTEST

Over 1,000 Grabouw residents marched to the Theewaterskloof Municipal offices yesterday where they handed over a list of grievances to Mayor Chris Punt.

It is the second memorandum that has been handed over to the municipality in two months.

The community has highlighted a lack of housing as the biggest issue facing residents of the Overberg town.

They say the establishment of new informal settlements in the area are uncontrollable.

Yesterday's protest turned violent after Punt returned to the municipal offices without addressing the crowd on how authorities plan to address their demands.

Police fired tear gas to disperse the group of protesters.

Punt said 108,000 people live in communities under the municipality's jurisdiction, with 56,000 living in Grabouw.

"And from that 56,000 people, only 48 percent of them are paying their rates and taxes and we can't go on like that."