South Africa

The situation in Philippi East remains tense

Reported by Chris Mabuya
From SABC News

The situation in Philippi East on the Cape Flats in the Western Cape remains tense following a week of escalated violence in the township.

About three people have been killed and five attempted murder cases have been opened. Extensive damage to the City of Cape Town property is estimated to millions of Rands.

According to Mabuya, it started as a service delivery protest early in the week, after a Social Justice Coalition march for better services in Cape Town.

The protest action later escalated into conflict between residents of the Lower Crossroads township and neighbouring Marikana informal settlement.

Evidence of the extent of the unrest is littered all around, some residents have fled the area and others say they don’t feel safe.

The city of Cape Town mayoral committee member on Safety and Security JP Smith has described areas affected by the unrest as horrific.

Smith and senior officials from the City visited the area to assess the situation.

He says the level of destruction and damage to people’s property and that of the City is something that has never been seen before.

“We have two people dead, about 18 to R20 billion of damage to infrastructure at the solid waste depot. There is a huge deployment in the area now trying to keep peace. There’s public meeting in the field between the two communities trying to reach common ground,” says Smith.

Community leaders have arranged meetings in an attempt to bring peace to the volatile area.

Police say the circumstances surrounding the deaths of three men are being investigated.

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