Two opposing groups of protestors from Khayelitsha SST informal settlement had a stand-off as both groups marched to the Khayelitsha Magistrate's court yesterday to support nine people accused of assaulting each other during protests last week.
During ongoing protests over lack of sanitation services in the area last week, Lansdowne Road was repeatedly blocked by burning tyres and portable toilets. But disagreements over whether the portable toilets should be burned emerged as residents who were employed to keep them clean feared losing their jobs if all the toilets were destroyed.
The argument escalated into physical violence with at least three people being treated in hospital for their injuries on Wednesday last week. Nine people were arrested for the violence but were released on Sunday after protesters marched to the Harare police station. Words were exchanged outside court yesterday when two groups who had come to support those who fought on their behalf, started swearing at each other until members of the ANCYL in ward 93 had to intervene.
"These people (protestors) are confusing the youth,"said Ward 93 ANCYL chairperson Buyisile Mthi. "We also do not approve of the portable toilets but we say they must stop vandalising the workers, including the installers of potter-potters (bucket system plastic potties)."
Mthi said protestors should focus on fighting with the City of Cape Town, not amongst each other. In court, prosecutor Ephraim Mlambo asked the cases to be postponed for further investigation as witness statements still needed to be collected. The case was postponed until September 6.