While conflict stricken Dunoon struggles with ongoing protests, the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) was deployed in the area on Tuesday to raid premises for drugs and unlicensed firearms.

Local photographer Joshua Rubin spent the day in the chaotic township area and found himself surrounded by riots, getting caught in a cloud of tear gas and even finding himself in a burning building.

The public order police (POP) unit also did their best to contain the situation. Three suspects were arrested for public violence over the weekend.

A 28-year-old suspect was arrested while carrying a drum of oil with alleged plans to set fire to numerous piles of tires and rubbish around the area.

Two other suspects were also arrested while throwing stones at passing vehicles and law enforcement staff.

At least 63 arrests have been made in the last week.

During his time spent documenting the protests Rubin could feel the strong emotion and tense atmosphere.

“It’s a very intense subject to document. You are around people with very heightened emotions! I was attacked on a few occasions but I know the risks of what I am doing. There’s a lot of tension. Things settle down for a bit and you think its over and it just takes one person throwing a stone to start everything again,” says Rubin.

His photographs capture the intensity of the situation to a T and show the impact the situation is having on Dunoon’s residents.

While the protests bring uncertainty and distress, a small number of officers are patrolling the area.

The protests were reportedly sparked by disagreements between the City of Cape Town and taxi bosses, with the community caught in the middle.

While riots continue the community is being cut off from the rest of Cape Town as the usual MyCiti route to and from the area has been suspended for safety reasons.

Motorists have also been avoiding the area due to stone throwing and torching of vehicles.

On Monday, September 30,2019 a truck transporting eggs was torched and looted.

Members of the Dunoon community are forced to walk long distances in order to reach public transportation.

Community leaders are blaming the protests on the City of Cape Town who reportedly did not respond to demands for smaller buses to supply the demand of those needing to commute off of the my MyCiTi routes.

The Dunoon Taxi Association has reportedly been trying to open lines of communication with authorities to meet and resolve issues but to no avail yet.

Construction on the Dunoon taxi rank was supposed to have started already but has been postponed due to the protests.

See more of Joshua’s work either on his Facebook page or his Instagram page @JoshWideAwake.

Pictures: Joshua Rubin

Article written by

Aimee Pace

Aimee is an avid gamer, enthusiastic yogi and animal lover. Addicted to anime, coffee and plant-based meals. Current favourite pastimes include, sewing and learning Japanese.