While police recognise and respect the right of citizens to protest, they also have a duty to protect the safety and well-being of all citizens. Therefore, it is crucial for protestors to exercise this right within the ambit of the law.
On Wednesday evening 12 July 2023, disgruntled residents from Nomakanjane and Ramaphosa informal settlements blockaded the M17 Addo Road and started stoning trucks.
One truck transporting oranges was set alight. The driver was not injured. A case of public violence was opened for investigation. Also, during this time, the driver of a manganese truck in trying to dodge protestors and stones, lost control and collided into a wall of a residence.
Both of these incidents took place in the Ikamvelihle policing areas.
At about 22:20, a 29 year old suspect was arrested by SAPS Flying Squad members for allegedly torching a second truck travelling on the M17 Addo Road. The driver of a manganese truck was also pulled out and the truck set alight. The incident took place in the Swartkops policing area.
The suspect is detained on charges of public violence, damage to essential infrastructure and malicious damage to property. He will appear in the Motherwell magistrate court tomorrow, 14 July 2023.
The torching of these trucks is not about the nationwide torching of trucks but linked to service delivery. The residents are disgruntled over no water and electricity in their respective settlements.
Nelson Mandela Bay District Commissioner, Maj Gen Vuyisile Ncata have issued a stern warning to protestors who engage in activities outside the confines of the law. ‘Damaging infrastructure not only disrupts public services but also, potential risks to public safety. Transportation systems as well as other critical infrastructure are paramount for the vital functioning of our society and intentionally causing damage can have far-reaching consequences for both individuals and communities. We will not tolerate lawlessness and those arrested will face the full brunt of the law,’ added Maj Gen Ncata.
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