Blikkiesdorp sees a petrol bomb attack, a stoning, and 20 homes destroyed
Eight informal dwellings were burned to the ground when a group of residents with petrol bombs, attacked an alleged gangster’s house. Other dwellings caught fire in the process.
A 20-year-old man was also stoned to death during a night of terror.
On Sunday, the affected residents were sifting through the rubble trying to salvage what they could.
City of Cape Town fire and rescue spokesperson Theo Layne said 20 informal settlements were destroyed, leaving more than a hundred residents displaced.
City disaster risk management spokesperson Charlotte Powell said the team did an assessment after the fire.
“We requested humanitarian relief from the SA Social Services Agency and starter fire kits to rebuild the informal structures from the City’s informal settlements department.”
Police spokesperson FC Van Wyk said a 20-year-old man was severely assaulted by the community and died due to injuries sustained.
He said, according to reports, the community of Blikkiesdorp set alight a suspected drug den. Eight to 10 other shacks were destroyed in the process, he said.
“Taking the law to yourself is a criminal offence. The people have the responsibility to report crime to police.
“They must have confidence in the police to be able to handle the situation to their satisfaction.” said Van Wyk.
No arrests have been made.
A Blikkiesdorp resident who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals said: “People are tired of gangsterism which comes with drugs and crime as these things are tormenting the community. Residents have been complaining about a certain man who doesn’t stay far from my house, that he was selling drugs.
"Apparently the man was warned and told to leave the community but he remained and continued with his illegal activities.
“Saturday night a group of residents went to his house which is believed to be the drug house but he had ran away a few minutes before they arrived."
The house of the alleged drug dealer and his car were petrol bombed. Some of the group chased another male who is believed to have been working with him.The man was caught by the mob and killed,” said the 47-year-old.
She said at the time of the incident she was watching TV with her husband and children when they heard a noise about houses on fire. When the family went out the fire had spread and nothing could be saved.
Resident Faldiela White recounts what happened on Saturday. She said one person was targeted.
“The person was selling drugs and was warned by the residents, but he never listened,” said White.
Furious resident Shanaaz Solomons said they did not sleep on Saturday night due to the fire. “We do not even know where to go now and what to eat. Why do we all have to suffer because of one person?”
Solomons said all of her documents, including her ID were burnt.
“Why does the City of Cape Town not make plans to give us houses?,” she asked.
Another resident Anton Adams, whose house survived the fire, prepared food for the affected residents, and urged the City of Cape Town to assist him in helping the community, and provide housing for them “as promised”.
Adams said his fear was that residents might turn on each other.
Anyone with information can anonymously contact Crime Stop on 0860010111 or Crime Line on 32211. - Additional reporting by Okuhle Hlati