Four in court over Parow mayhem

The crime scene.

Four men have appeared in court after riot police fired rubber bullets to quell public violence in Parow last Wednesday when shots were fired and a group of men toppled a car amid accusations that a child had been kidnapped.

According to Parow police station commander Colonel Raymond Jacobs, two men, a Congolese and a South African, were at Bellville police station reporting a traffic accident when a group of about 50 men, believed to be foreign nationals, entered the charge office and accused them of kidnapping a child and extortion.

The two men left and drove to Parow police station, but the crowd followed them, it is not known how, and demanded they be arrested.

When the police refused, the crowd pushed over the men’s car, damaging it.

Colonel Jacobs said riot police had fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd and four Ethiopian nationals had been arrested for public violence. 

The four appeared in court on Thursday and are out on bail.

Colonel Jacobs said there was no report on the police system of a child having been kidnapped in the area.

Video of the incident surfaced on social media, and an unnamed source told the Cape Times that the incident had unfolded in Arnold Wilhelm Drive – a service road running parallel to Voortrekker Road – on Wednesday at about 6:30pm.

“I was on my way home from work when I saw a large group of foreigners destroying a car,” said the man. “They had broken the vehicle’s windows and then lifted it up and toppled it to its side.”

The men responsible for toppling the car had accused the vehicle’s occupants of kidnapping a child, the man said.

“I think it was two people who took out guns and started shooting (at the alleged kidnappers). Luckily no one was injured,” he said.