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Cops shot at as Cape Flats unrest continues

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Cape Flats has seen looting and unrest for more than a week

POLICE and law enforcement officers came under fire from a crowd of about 100 people along the R300 on the Cape Flats on Wednesday as unrest continued in Mitchell’s Plain. 

Wayne Dyason, the spokesperson for law enforcement services in Cape Town, said the crowd of protesters had forced a truck to come to a halt near Stock Road at the juncture between Mitchell’s Plain and Philippi, presumably with the intention to loot it. 

“They were stopped and then headed to the shopping mall across the road, but were stopped again,” Dyason said. “They fired live rounds at the officers but luckily no one was injured.” 

The protesters then fled to nearby New Woodlands. Several sections of the R300 were closed for hours following the clashes. Dyason said one person was arrested in connection with the shooting. 

Officials privately said they believed an “armed, criminal element” was infiltrating protests against the extended national lockdown put in place by government to contain the spread of Covid-19. 

The Cape Flats has seen looting and unrest for more than a week, with Tafelsig and Rocklands in Mitchell’s Plain becoming flashpoints. On Friday, burning barricades were erected on the Stellenbosch arterial road and on Tuesday, trucks were stoned at Robert Sobukwe Rd near Nyanga. 

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula on Wednesday confirmed that President Cyril Ramaphosa was deploying all members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to support the police as they enforce the lockdown. The SANDF is also meant to shore up public health efforts against the novel coronavirus.

– African News Agency (ANA)