Wed, 27 Mar 2019

Western Cape police are investigating two cases of malicious damage to property after a fire station and municipal vehicle were stoned. This was apparently in retaliation for the demolishing of "illegal" structures in Lotus Park Squatter Park, police said.

News24 reported on Saturday that the Gugulethu Fire Station was petrol bombed. This was according to City of Cape Town law enforcement spokesperson Wayne Dyason, who said the bomb was thrown against the emergency room public entrance, resulting in fire damage.

Rocks were also reportedly pelted at the facility, resulting in damage to the windows of the roller door.

The City of Cape Town's chief fire officer, Ian Schnetler on Saturday slammed the incident as a "senseless and unprovoked attack by unreasonable and barbaric community members". He said the cause of the attack was unknown.

"This is really not acceptable and the attack is condemned in the strongest terms. A fire station is there to help people and is not the enemy. This madness must come to an end," he said.

Another attack

The same fire station was also set alight last year.

A statement by the Western Cape police did not mention the petrol bombing, but said that the cause could have been the removal of the "illegal structures".

"Two cases of malicious damage to property were registered for investigation," said spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk." He said the first was for the damaging of a municipal vehicle, which was stoned.

The second charge related to the stoning of the fire station.

"The damages were the result of the demolishing of illegal structures in Lotus Park Squatter camp near Nyanga Junction by Law Enforcement and Metro Police," Van Wyk said.

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