The N2 protests have been ongoing since Wednesday. Residents of Strand and Khayelitsha have taken to the streets in reaction to the Red Ants, in conjunction with the police, demolishing around 30 informal housing structures that were erected by the protesters on privately-owned land.
As reported by IOL News, protesters took to the streets to demonstrate their frustrations with waiting for what seems to be an empty promise that was made to them years ago.
What caused the N2 protests?
By now, the residents had expected to be moved to an area with overlaying power lines and into more secure housing structures.
However, once it was realised that this was a pipe dream, backyard dwellers from Strand, Helderberg and Khayelitsha began marking out plots on a piece of vacant land on the N2, near Reddam House school.
It turns out that the privately-owned land is the property of ASLA Construction. Although the protesters have argued that the land has been vacant for something more than a decade, ASLA CEO, Werner Jerling, noted that the property was still actively managed.
Landowner files for court interdict against land occupiers
Werner further stated that the company has approached the courts to obtain an interdict against any potential illegal land occupiers.
“As a private landowner, we became aware that the markings constitute more than a casual interest by others and have accordingly obtained a court interdict against persons with any form of illegal intent on the land,” he said.
Land Party claims responsibility for unrest
Former DA member and Land Party premier candidate, Loyiso Nkohla, claimed responsibility for inciting the protests, stating that the people from the aforementioned areas are sick and tired of waiting on the City of Cape Town to act on its empty promises.
“As the Land Party we are here to support the people, we told them to relocate themselves if the City of Cape Town refuses to do so. They then identified suitable land and they did just that,” he said.
Protesters have also been accused of looting shops, including a liquor store, in the unrest that continued from Wednesday. Affected storeowners have yet to report on the damages they’ve incurred due to the protests.
Mthombo Liqours after last night's looting. The owners have moved what's left to a store house. The owner says he was inside when all the looting took place. He says he feared for his life #StrandProtest pic.twitter.com/YlKZMuRKU8
— Veve (@LudidiVelani) April 11, 2019
Police spokesperson, Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana condemned the protests, calling on residents to practice their right to picket within the prescripts of the law.
“Khayelitsha protestors are burning tyres in the Harare and Lingelethu policing precincts, several roads are closed (Corner of Mew way and Spine road, Corner of JK Masemola and Spine road).
“SAPS members in the policing precinct are monitoring the situation. No arrests made so far. We appeal to those who are participating in the protest to act within the ambit of the law. Lawless will not be tolerated,” she said.
The police spokesperson confirmed that riot officers will remain on the ground until law and order is restored.