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Cops use stun grenades to disperse Bo-Kaap protesters

A community leader, who simply wants to be called Mishka, says residents are tired of not being listened to when land is sold to private developers.

Bo-Kaap residents clash with police over a private development in the area on 20 November 2018. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN

CAPE TOWN - There is still a stand-off between police and protesters against a development in Bo-Kaap.

The group has been trying to stop a crane from reaching a development site in Lion Street.

Earlier, police used stun grenades to disperse the crowd of mostly elderly demonstrators.

Buitengracht is closed to traffic in both directions between Leeuwen and Buitensingel streets, due to the unrest at Bloem Street.

Residents say four men and one woman have been arrested.

A large truck transporting a crane has been attempting to get up a steep incline in Buitenkant Street, but without any success.

Residents have been cheering each unsuccessful attempt.

A community leader, who simply wants to be called Mishka, says residents are tired of not being listened to when land is sold to private developers.

She says residents have been objecting to the Lion Street development, but these calls have been ignored.

“I’ve been extremely vocal about this. This is definitely not the end. We won’t allow this kind of bullying by developers who think they have the overhand against us.”

Police officers have been deployed at most access roads to Bo-Kaap and are monitoring the situation.

Earlier this year the Bo-Kaap Civic Association said it opposed the building developments because would destroy the historical feel of the Bo-Kaap. At the time, residents also protested against private development plans in an effort to preserve the area’s culture and heritage.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)