By Andrew Louw, MPL – DA Northern Cape Provincial Leader

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Northern Cape condemns the violent protest action currently taking place by the Zama-Zama’s in and around Kimberley. We are also calling on the South Africa Police Service (SAPS) to take firm action against those destroying our already broken infrastructure.

The DA is especially angered by a picture shared on social media depicting protestors hacking out chunks of tar with a pickaxe, while the police simply look on.

In addition to protestors destroying the roads, they have even started digging out the water pipes that lie under the roads. Regardless of the possibly legitimate grievances that the Zama-Zamas may have with local and provincial government leadership, nothing can justify such destructive and criminal behaviour.

Already Sol Plaatje cannot maintain our roads, now residents and businesses will have to suffer even more due to this blatant attack on infrastructure. The roads and water system belong to all of us, we depend on it to get to work and school, to buy food and to get access to water to sustain ourselves. Who will fix those roads and water pipes when the protests are over, and where will the money come from?

The DA is calling on the police to urgently seek reinforcements to help them get the hooliganism, that is playing out on the Cassandra and Samaria roads that lead to Boshoff, under control. SAPS’s public order policing must also be better equipped, trained and capacitated to able to control criminal behaviour, and not the other way around.

The police cannot turn a blind eye to this destruction of public property. Those who are guilty of destroying and threatening state property should be arrested.

SAPS should apply their practices fairly and consistently at all times and everyone who partakes in criminal action should be arrested and dealt with by a court of law.

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