15 arrested in Macassar riot


Residents of Macassar gathered on the streets near a local shopping complex and petrol station on Tuesday, June 24. They staged a protest over housing.

MACASSAR, Cape Town – Police arrested fifteen protesters during a housing protest in Macassar on Tuesday.

They will appear in court on charges of public violence, said Western Cape police spokesperson Andr Traut.

Riot police shot rubber bullets into a crowd of protesters on Tuesday afternoon.

During the riot, two armoured vehicles drove through the area and later a helicopter circled overhead.

Backyard dwellers in Macassar are furious at Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille&39;s plan to move Lwandle residents to a major housing development nearby.

Earlier this month, Lwandle residents were at the centre of a land eviction battle.

On Tuesday, protesters threw broken bricks and stones at armoured police vehicles.

They also burned tyres on street corners near two municipal buildings.

On Monday, protesters gathered at the local rent office where they broke windows and damaged office furniture.

“The waiting list in Macassar is plus minus 15,000,” said ANC councillor Rhoda Bazier.

“That created a spark in people, because there is a lack of housing in Macassar. There is a lot of people that are unemployed, there is a lot of social issues that needs to be addressed.”

Bazier reckons local DA ward councillor John Heuwel should have met with the community after Monday’s protest.

“He could have prevented this,” she said.

Heuwel referred queries regarding housing protests in Macassar to the mayor’s office.

De Lille nor her spokesman could not be reached for comment.

* For more on the protest, watch the video in the gallery above.

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