Metro Police officer petrol bombed during Cape Town land protests

Metro Police officer petrol bombed during Cape Town land protests

Amidst ongoing violent protest in the Western Cape, a Metro Police officer has been badly burnt after his vehicle was petrol bombed in Kraaifontein on Saturday 1 August. 

Land evictions sparked widespread protest in and around Cape Town in July, and protesters have continued to vandalise property and cause road closures over the weekend. A crowd confronted the officer on Saturday afternoon and one of the protesters hurled a petrol bomb at his vehicle, leading to him sustaining burns to his face and arms. 

Reward offered for information leading to petrol bomber’s arrest 

The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith, condemned the act of violence and has offered a reward for anyone who can point law enforcement agencies in the direction of the perpetrator. 

“At around 14:00, staff were confronted with a crowd of approximately 600 people in Bloekombos,” he said on Sunday 2 August. 

“A petrol bomb was hurled at a hardened vehicle, resulting in the officer sustaining injuries to his face and arms. He managed to extinguish the flames, avoiding further injuries to his colleagues.”

The officer was treated in hospital on Saturday and is understood to be recovering from the traumatic incident. 

The City is offering a reward for any information that can help lead to the arrest and prosecution of the person responsible, and they have condemned a host of “callous attacks” on their staff over the course of the protests. 

“Since last weekend, nearly 40 staff members from the Safety and Security Directorate have been injured during violent actions associated with land invasions,” said Smith. 

“This type of action speaks to a level of lawlessness that cannot be tolerated, and the City views these barbaric attacks in a very serious light.”

Protests ongoing over land evictions  

On Saturday morning, residents in Kraaifontein set a community racetrack on fire after law enforcement officers allegedly tore down illegally-built structures in Bloekombos.

The structures were erected on privately-owned land in Bloekombos. Law enforcement spokesman Wayne Dyason said officers “came under heavy attack”.

“Law enforcement came under heavy attack from protesters, numbering around 2 000. Protesters moved from Marula Road, but officers removed them from the area. Protesters also set fire to the Tygerberg racetrack and removed the zinc roof.”

Smith said that national government needs to come to the City’s aid and bring a halt to the untenable violence playing out every day in Cape Town’s surrounding areas. 

“It is now essential that national government step up and ensure additional levels of policing and POPS as protecting public and private land and upholding the national laws of our country cannot be left primarily to the City,” he said. Protection Status

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