Plettenberg Bay turmoil: 71 arrested, N2 remains closed
Police have arrested 71 people for various crimes after violent protests and a spate of looting in the coastal town of Plettenberg Bay.
Spokesperson Sgt Chris Spies said they were arrested for charges including public violence, house and business robbery, malicious damage to property and being in possession of stolen property.
They will appear in court soon.
Spies said the situation in the area remains tense, but additional law-enforcement resources have been sent to the area.
Community members took to the streets this week to voice their grievances over service delivery in parts of the town.
The youth & sport development office was ransacked and set alight. A Usave grocery store and businesses in the town's industrial area were also looted. Damage and losses were estimated by the municipality on Thursday to run into millions.
Bitou municipality spokesperson Manfred Van Rooyen said on Friday morning that the N2 highway between Shell Ultra City and Kwanokuthula remained closed.
The town was also left reeling after a fatal bus crash in the early hours of Friday.
3 people died when the driver of Eagle Liner bus lost control on the Airport Road in Plettenberg Bay. This road is used as an alternative amid the violent #PlettProtest which has led to the closure of the N2 highway since Tuesday night.— Sphiwe Hobasi (@MrCow_man) July 5, 2019
? Supplied #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/8vxkSjDk7F
Three people were killed and 43 others injured after the bus went out of control in wet road conditions.
The accident happened on Robberg Road just after 3am.
Motorists were cautioned to be vigilant and on the lookout for debris or barricades.
Van Rooyen said there were also reports of multiple shacks on fire but the fire department was waiting to be escorted by the police to the scene.
"The police will in all probability deploy more resources towards restoring law and order in Bitou," he said.
"Other avenues towards resolution of the ongoing impasse will also be pursued, in the interest of safety and for the sake of the local economy."
#PlettProtest This video, showing thousands of residents marching the N2 from New Horizons towards Qolweni, was taken by a bystander yesterday. Due to the volatile situation in the area the media cannot get this close to the protest.— Sphiwe Hobasi (@MrCow_man) July 4, 2019
? Supplied#sabcnews pic.twitter.com/R2lujFPXW5