The City of Cape Town says it has launched a R1.4 million claim against Gatvol Capetonian and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) for damage during protests.
In a statement on Monday, the City said these two groupings were liable for the cost to repair damaged public infrastructure during protests.
The statement said a summons was issued to Gatvol Capetonian on 29 March for over R1.3 million in damages related to a “shut down” of major routes in Cape Town in August 2019.
“Destroying infrastructure is not an acceptable form of protest, nor is it shutting down major routes and disrupting the lives of law abiding residents.
“In South Africa, we need to draw the line on the rule of law, that is why we are holding these groupings accountable for their actions to the tune of R1.4 million,” said Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato.
‘Reckless, wrongful and unlawful’
The City’s civil claim said it was “reckless, wrongful and unlawful” of this organisation to incite a “shut down” while violating their Gatherings Act obligations to give notice, appoint convenors and marshalls, and refrain from violence.
The infrastructure allegedly destroyed by Gatvol Capetonian in various communities included Grassy Park, R311 760.87, Atlantis, R336 946.75, Mitchells Plain, R50 000, Kensington, R50 000, Oceanview (Kommetjie, R361 953.31, Ocean View (Milky Way Road, R170 000, Delft, RR11 909.48 and Bo-Kaap, R1 867.64. This brought the total to R1 304 438.05
“It is disappointing when political organisations cause harm to community infrastructure and damage critical assets that are installed to uplift communities. The City is committed to providing resources to all communities but this becomes difficult when there are individuals working against social cohesion as seen through their acts of destruction, as with the EFF and Gatvol Capetonian.
Rule of law
“The communities of Grassy Park, Atlantis, Mitchells Plain and elsewhere deserve better. The City respects the rule of law and the right of citizens to assemble, provided this is done peacefully and with respect to the rights of others,” said Mayor Plato.
The City said its legal representatives had also issued a Letter of Demand to the EFF for damage to infrastructure in Brackenfell on 20 November 2020, in violation of agreed gathering conditions with the South African Police Services (SAPS) and Western Cape High Court.
“EFF members damaged traffic lights at several intersections, set fire to a vacant field, and damaged public vehicles including a fire engine,” said Plato.
A total amount of R87 312.25 was being sought from the EFF to cover the costs of infrastructure repair.
“The EFF has 21 days to make payment into the City’s bank account or face a summons, which will also include a claim for legal costs to recover the funds, plus interest,” said Plato.
PICTURE: Cape Town etc gallery