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Overnight chaos erupts again in Masiphumelele

Community leaders say locals are demanding that policing in the area be improved.

Protesters in Masiphumelele community blocked major roads, including Kommetjie Road with a shipping container as they call for better policing in the area on 27 October 2015. Picture: Louise Marsland.

CAPE TOWN - Calm has returned to Masiphumelele this morning after overnight protesters barricaded Kommetijie Road.

Protesters blocked the main road with a shipping container, while on Monday they had used boats and a caravan.

But all seems fine this morning as the normal hustle and bustle continues as police monitor the township near Fish Hoek.

Kommetjie Road has since early this morning been reopened to traffic.

The road is littered with burnt rubble and traffic lights have been damaged.

But inside Masiphumele it seems calm, at least for now, with residents making their way to work and school.

Despite violent protest action in #Masiphumelele last night, all seems calm this morning - at least for now. LI pic.twitter.com/4NjSkUIB6o

Cape Town Traffic Services' Richard Coleman said, "We had to close Kommetijie Road and that is between Ou Kaapse Weg & Milky Way, but an alternative to use would be Glencairn Expressway or Redhill Road."

#Masiphumelele Parts of Kommetjie Rd has been closed to traffic in Masiphumelele near Fishoek due to ongoing protests. Saps on scene. SF

#Masiphumelele Protesting residents have burnt tyres and rubble in the road. motorists urged to make use of alternative routes. SF

The area has been the scene of recurring demonstrations in recent weeks.

Community leader Howard Mbana says locals are demanding improved policing and visible police in the area.

"We're tired and we've been failed by the authorities, that's the reason why the comrades decided to take law into their own hands. If the authorities had acted promptly in advance, there should never have been accident of this nature in Masiphumelele."

Mbana says they want to see peace in the community, especially now that school children will be writing their final exams.

"We also want to make sure that there is peace and stability in our community as we're facing the festive season whereby our kids are writing exams. We want to make sure that there's peace until this whole situation has been triumphed or successfully done."

On Monday, community leaders called for calm following the court appearance of an activist arrested in connection with a spate of mob justice attacks in the area.

Lubabalo Willem (36) was arrested in connection with the attacks last week. His arrest saw a flare-up in violent protest action at the weekend.

Willem appeared in the Simon's Town Magistrates Court where he wasn't given the opportunity to apply for bail and ordered to appear in court later this week.

Following the violence that erupted last Friday, more than 200 Masiphumelele High School matriculants were collected by the provincial education department and are currently being housed and schooled at an alternative location.

The department said the area is too volatile and the protests could traumatise learners.

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