While just a few thousand people turned out to celebrate Guy Fawkes at the various designated sites, staff were still kept busy with 11 minor injuries recorded and dozens of incidents elsewhere in the city. Read more below:
The City can report that the designated fireworks sites for Guy Fawkes were reasonably quiet last night.
The busiest sites (200 – 1 000 people at any point) were Athlone Stadium, Strandfontein Pavilion, Macassar and Table View.
There were 11 injuries recorded on the night, including:
· A boy who sustained injuries to his hands when fireworks were thrown at him in Delft
· Two girls (7 and 10) were injured at Strandfontein Pavilion
· Four adult males and two females were injured at Strandfontein Pavilion
· Two adult males sustained minor facial injuries at Athlone Stadium
A firefighter also sustained a slight injury in Delft and there was minor damage to one of the fire vehicles as a result of fireworks.
‘While I am hopeful that the low turnout at the designated sites was because people are moving away from this tradition, the reality is that it was more likely because of the weather as well as the fact that Guy Fawkes fell on a Monday.
‘Our enforcement staff had their hands full in areas away from the designated sites, particularly in Lavender Hill, Parkwood, Kensington and Grassy Park. Based on the reports that came through, it appears that those who choose to terrorise the public on Guy Fawkes are upping the ante. They are no longer just targeting pedestrians, but also vehicles.
‘The weapons that our staff confiscated included hockey sticks, golf clubs, condoms filled with paint and excrement and who knows what else. So, while fireworks is a concern, I fear the blatant criminality that has become a hallmark of Guy Fawkes is a far bigger problem. What’s even more concerning is that so many of the culprits are children,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.
In Tafelsig, a crowd of about 400 stoned two Metro Police patrol vehicles and set tyres alight in the roadway. The public order policing unit responded and fired rubber rounds and stun grenades to disperse the crowd. It is not clear whether this incident was related to Guy Fawkes or not.
‘Guy Fawkes is a major headache for our enforcement and emergency services. We are forced to dedicate resources to police the bad behaviour of a minority in Cape Town. It really is a nonsensical tradition that needs to be done away with. We will also renew our efforts to get national government to consider the banning of fireworks. The harm to animals and humans and the damage to property through fire are the most compelling reasons anyone could ask for,’ added Alderman Smith.