Panic on the streets of Cape Town

Dublin, Dundee, Humberside.

Not really, obviously. That’s just a borrowed line from a song by The Smiths. I actually have no idea over the prevailing mindset of the residents of those latter three areas. But I do know that there is some concern mounting over a possible protest march in the CBD this coming Friday.
The reasons for this concern are twofold:

Firstly, the alleged protest is allegedly organised by the same guys that allegedly organised the last protest march in the CBD, at the end of October. That allegedly resulted in widespread criminal damage and looting of shops and informal traders in the centre of town and was only dispersed by the onset of a sudden rain shower, which apparently made the protesters realise that their grievances weren’t actually that grievous at all and they’d all rather head off to somewhere drier.

Secondly, the idea that the alleged march could turn nasty has been seized upon by doom-merchants and fearmongers in an effort to merch doom and monger fear. A digital pamphlet is being passed around on Facebook and by email, warning of “major traffic chaos” and “possible associated protests on the N2”, in much the same way as urban myths are shared by the same means. This plays right into the protesters’ hands, given that their only real objective is to disrupt normal life and get some publicity.

After the October 30th march, infamous alleged poo-flinger Andile Lili warned that there would be 250,000 at their next effort. Given that there were between 3,500 and 6,000 protesters on October 30th, this is either extremely optimistic on his part, or frankly rather worrying. Actually, perhaps it’s both.
Then add to that the fact that the alleged march has not been given permission to take place, given the problems of the previous one, and you have an interesting situation with Lili et al talking it up and the City not even acknowledging that anything might happen. At least, not publicly.

So who knows? To continue the tenuous musical links at the beginning of this post, it could be Del Amitri’s Nothing Ever Happens or it might all go a bit Kaizer Chiefs’ I Predict A Riot

You might argue that the protesters have already won, given the amount of concern and the number of changed plans that their alleged action has generated. But given the amount of damage that was caused last time out and the likely increase in numbers this time around, maybe they have their sights set on something a bit more spectacular than just making Cape Town’s Friday a bit difficult.

I’ll be watching from a distance. But will you be avoiding the CBD on Friday or will you run down, to the safety of the town?

Who Threw Poo?

Was it you?

Probably not, according to the Provincial Government, unless your name appears on the:

dossier of information relating to the individuals responsible for these attacks

And if you’re not from these parts, then “these attacks” refers to the fact that (and here I advised you to switch off the mental image creating part of your brain):

from May until August 2013, the province has been the location of various acts of political violence involving the use of human faeces.

There have been over 100 of these attacks, and they result in regular closures of major roads (usually the N2) – something which affects everyone, least of all Helen Zille.
The dossier is helpfully presented in Microsoft PowerPoint (an appropriately crap means of sharing information), and can be seen online here.

Basically, the Province says that there are are a small number of poopetrators – 11 to be exact – who are instigating the poo protests:

One aspect of this campaign involves faeces attacks in various locations, including regularly blocking a major highway and access to the airport.
This spate of faeces attacks is clearly well-co-ordinated and politically-motivated, forming part of the ANC Youth League’s self-declared and oft-repeated “ungovernability campaign”. Today we are releasing information we have gathered and details of compelling evidence which shows just this.

shIt then goes on to list those who they believe have led these unpleasant attacks as:

  • Sithembele Majova
  • Sibusiso “Mqithi” Zonke
  • Nangamso “Kavin” Tshutha
  • Khaya Kama
  • Bongile Zanazo
  • Bongani Ncombolo
  • Andile Lili
  • Loyiso Nkohla
  • Mario Wanza
  • Sulyman Stellenboom
  • Songezo Mvandaba

And what have the local government done? Well, “as a first and appropriate step” they have informed the poolice service about it:

we have handed this information to the South African Police Service for further investigation. They must also obtain statements from the many eyewitnesses and the suspects themselves, subpoena their cellphone records (since they claim to organise via cellphones) and conduct normal police investigations. What we have is prima facie evidence as the basis for investigation. That is why we have submitted it to the police.

The Police, eh? Good thinking. I’m so glad that’s only taken you 3½ months to work out that this would be a good idea. I imagine that this will now all be completely sorted out by never.

And this marks the first of my posts to get the “elections” tag with reference to 2014.
Oh joy.