Siyabangena informal settlements residents run amok

A bus, a truck and a van were set alight and property damaged during the protest by Siyabangena Informal Settlements.

The Philippi East police has opened an inquiry docket after frustrated residents of Siyabangena informal settlement torched a bus, a truck and van.

Police spokesperson, Captain Bheki Xulu, said about 30 community members blocked Eislieben Road and Cwangco Crescent with stones and burnt tires at 10.30pm on Tuesday June 11.

“They complained about an electricity transformer which had been switched off and they connect electricity illegally in that box.

“One bus, one truck and motor vehicle were set alight. The public violence docket has been opened in Philippi East,” said Captain Xulu. He said no injuries had been reported and no arrests had yet been made.

Captain Xulu warned that police would take action against anyone who transgressed the law, adding that police were monitoring the situation.

Condemnin the vandalism, Ward 35 councillor Mboniswa Chitha appealed to the residents to use legal channels to voice their concerns and to take their grievances to their leaders. “I am not sure what happened. I got a call late last night that residents are protesting.”

He said he had urged the caller to appeal to the protesters to rather bring their grievances to a meeting with him.

But, he said, “They did not come back to me. It is not right to torch properties. It is not right to take out frustrations on other people. I urge residents to use their committees. They must use them to negotiate on their behalf,” he said.