South Africa rocked by fresh protests

Thursday June 30 2016

A Golden Arrow bus goes up in flames after being set ablaze by protesters in Cape Town, South Africa on June 29, 2016. PHOTO | CITY OF CAPE TOWN

South Africa has been rocked by fresh protests with Cape Town residents torching two Golden Arrow buses on the N2 highway on Wednesday night.

Residents of Barcelona informal settlements took to the streets late on Wednesday, allegedly over the candidates announced by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) ahead of the local government elections in August.

The demonstrators stoned vehicles and barricaded the road.

Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for the Safety and Security Jean-Pierre Smith confirmed the protests were sparked by the selection of a candidate for the upcoming local government elections.

Private vehicles

"There were no serious injuries but we understand some occupants of private vehicles were injured and it wasn’t initially clear what caused the accident or what the cause of the protest action was, but it does appear to be about the list of candidates selection process in that ward," Mr Smith said.


Similar protests brought Pretoria and surrounding areas to a standstill last week with property being destroyed. Some 19 buses were burnt down.

Other suspects

In Cape Town, police confirmed two people were arrested during the protests for allegedly robbing motorists.

Mr Smith said two other suspects were still on the run.

"While busy with road closures, members of the Safety and Security Directorate K78 Roadblock unit, with the assistance of the community, arrested two of the four suspects," he said.

Replica firearm

The situation, he went on, was eventually brought under control.

"The city’s roadblock unit arrived on the scene from where they were busy. They were able to apprehend two of the four people who engaged in these robberies. They confiscated the knives and the replica firearm."

"The debris was eventually removed and the tailback was curtailed. Police vehicles were deployed throughout the night to ensure that we didn’t have a repeat of the violence," he said.