Sat. Oct 19th, 2019

N2 protest update: Police clash with Somerset West locals over “land grab” [video]

Somerset West N2 protests land grabJust 48 hours after Cyril Ramaphosa siad there wouldn’t be another land grab incident in South Africa, the N2 protests in Somerset West thought differently.

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The N2 protests near Cape Town escalated on Thursday morning, as burning tyres and road blockades caused chaos across the municipality. The demonstrators, who are gatvol with their current living circumstances, have allegedly been influenced to orchestrate a “land grab” by local political structures.

N2 protests on Thursday 11 April

The fire and fury we’ve seen in the Western Cape mirrors what’s happening in Gauteng: The Alex Total Shutdown movement appears to have made its way to Tshwane, as residents in Soshanguve have also taken to the streets.

The exact cause of the discontent in Tshwane is, by all accounts, multifaceted. Inadequate service delivery forms the foundation for uprising with local taxi operators bolstering offensive. Taxi organisations, in the northern and western townships of Pretoria, have rebelled against the City’s management.

In Somerset West, however, the N2 protests are driven by a desire for land and the need for improved service delivery. The protests initially began late on Wednesday afternoon, before rolling over into Thursday. In the past 24 hours, the mood has been tense, and it has culminated in a stand-off between police and disgruntled residents.

This was the scene in both Somerset West and Khayelitsha this morning, as early risers made sure that they had their blockades in place ahead of the rush-hour commute:

Watch Somerset West citizens clash with police over land grab:

Late on Wednesday afternoon, the police were called to the site of the protests but came under attack almost immediately. Several officers were forced to take shelter from debris that was being thrown towards them.

These N2 protests come with dark irony, too. It was only this past Tuesday that Cyril Ramaphosa promised South Africans “there would be no land grabs” which violated the rule of law. Less than 48 hours later, this happened…

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