Court issues summons to EFF for R87 000 in damages

The EFF has been summonsed to pay R87 000 for City of Cape Town properties that were allegedly damaged by the party during a November 2020 protest over alleged racism at the Brackenfell High School.

The Kuils River Magistrate’s Court has slapped the EFF with a summons to pay R87 312 in damages, following a violent protest in Brackenfell in November last year.

However, the EFF in the Western Cape says it has not seen the summons.

On Tuesday May 18, provincial EFF spokesman Wandile Kasibe said he was out of town, had not seen the summons and could not comment.

Attempts to get hold of provincial EFF chairperson Melikhaya Xego – through three calls and a text message – were unsuccessful.

The Northern News could not get a copy of the summons at the time of writing.

In court and in press statements following the violent protest, the City contended that the EFF was behind the destruction of property. The EFF protest followed racial and violent confrontations between a group of largely white residents and black protesters from various parties.

The EFF and other political movements had converged on Brackenfell to protest after an allegedly whites-only event for matric pupils was held.

Violent clashes ensued between Brackenfell residents and the EFF. Stones were thrown and fisticuffs exchanged. Police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds.

In a statement on Monday May 17, mayor Dan Plato said the red berets had submitted an application to protest in the Brackenfell area in November 2020, and therefore it was the party’ responsibility to ensure the protest was peaceful.

“The EFF failed to ensure this and failed to adhere to reasonable instructions issued by SAPS who were monitoring the protest action,” Mr Plato said.

The City said the EFF had not responded to its letter of demand, detailing how the party had allegedly contravened the Gatherings Act.

The statement pegged damages on a fire engine, an emergency support vehicle, eight traffic lights, a traffic light control box and refuse bins at R87 312.25.

“While the right to peaceful protests is protected by the constitution, there is no reason to damage government infrastructure, and anyone doing so must be held accountable. I am glad that the courts have seen fit to make those responsible pay for the damages. Our residents should not have to tolerate lawlessness, and I think this sends a strong message today,” Mr Plato said.