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CT priority committee aims to protect public against violence by protesters

JP Smith says while the city supports the right to protest the destruction of public property and placing the lives of others at risk can never be justified.

FILE: Disgruntled Vrygrond residents took to the streets on 17 April 2018 after they were evicted from a piece of land they were illegally occupying. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Members of a priority committee on protest action have met following weeks of violent clashes that broke out in several Cape Town communities.

The City of Cape Town earlier this week called on the SA Police Service to establish the priority committee.

Police and law enforcement officials were thinly spread across Du Noon, Vrygrond, Mitchells Plain and Parkwood - just some of the areas affected by service delivery demonstrations in recent weeks.

Officials from the City of Cape Town and provincial government are represented on the committee.

The city’s JP Smith says one of their main aims is to protect the public against violent and illegal action by protesters.

“They will now have all the relevant agencies from the city and province align their efforts to the National Prosecuting Authority to make sure that the persons involved in driving public violent incidents, and those responsible for attacks on people or the destruction of private or state assets are charged and prosecuted.”

Smith says while the city supports the right to protest the destruction of public property and placing the lives of others at risk can never be justified.

“A diligent and vigilant civic culture is important for the success of the city. That, however, can never be hijacked by violent and criminal actions that involve the looting of businesses, destruction of state assets, disruption of transport or education.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)