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Gugulethu fire station closed after protesters set vehicles alight

Mayco member for Safety and Security JP Smith said firefighters extinguished the fire, but they soon became targets when the group started hurling stones at their building, causing damage to the bay doors.

FILE: The Gugulethu fire station was set alight by protesting residents on 12 July 2018. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The City of Cape Town on Friday said vandals damaged the Gugulethu fire station and set vehicles alight in overnight protests.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said firefighters extinguished the fire, but they soon became targets when the group started hurling stones at their building, causing damage to the bay doors.

“The thugs behind the distraction will argue that the actions were done in protest, but it’s immaterial because there can be no justification for the ongoing damage and vandalism of city infrastructure serving a venerable community,” Smith said.

The city’s chief fire officer suspended operations at the Gugulethu fire station as a result.

In a similar incident last year, the station was forced to close after the building was set alight amid land and housing demonstrations.

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