Ricochet News

Motorists urged to avoid New Mission Road after cars damaged in three-week protest

Aug 17, 2017
Motorists urged to avoid New Mission Road after cars damaged in three-week protest

Police in Port Elizabeth are urging motorists to avoid  using the New Mission Road, linking the Uitenhage Road with Kleinskool, after several vehicles were damaged by stone-throwing protesters on Wednesday and Thursday.

According to police spokesperson, Captain Andre Beetge, between 16:00 and 20:00 on Wednesday, a total of 10 vehicles, mostly bakkies and light delivery vehicles from various businesses in Nelson Mandela Bay area were damaged by being pelted with stones while travelling in New Mission Road, Westville, Kwadwesi.

"Another two bakkies with estimated value of R280 000 were destroyed by being set alight in the same road by a group of between 100 and 150 residents of Westville," he added.

"Earlier on Thursday, and in the same location, another light delivery vehicle was set alight and numerous vehicles, including two police vehicles, were pelted with stones.

"No police members sustained injuries in the attacks, but their vehicles sustained damages."

Captain Beetge said that the protests have been taking place sporadically for the past three weeks, but last Wednesday night and Thursday's damages have increased in seriousness.

The Motherwell Cluster Commander, Major General Dawie Rabie, expressed his concerns in the growing violence in the Westville area of Kwadwesi and ordered extra policing to stabilise the situation.

"The South African Police Service members are there to serve and protect our communities, but when communities starts to attack the police, strong action will be taken against perpetrators. Housing issues should be dealt with without causing unrest in order for SAPS to focus on more serious crimes being committed in those communities," he added.

Police are urging motorists, especially light delivery vehicles and transports of businesses to avoid using the New Mission Road linking the Uitenhage Road with Kleinskool, until the area has calmed and returned to normal.