Walmer protestors disperse after being addressed by mayor

Over 1,000 people gathered late this afternoon to listen to Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor, Zanoxolo Wayile, address them about the roll out of service delivery projects in the Walmer Township.

Wayile informed them that the municipality had secured funding from provincial government and would soon begin rolling out programmes in the township, including fixing streetlights to improve visibility and security at night.

After Wayile addressed the crowds, a community leader also spoke to them, and the crowds then started to disperse.

Police spokesman, Captain Stanley Jarvis, said that a small crowd of around 200 people were still mulling about near the entrance to the township at 9th Avenue and Buffelsfontein Road, but that the majority had apparently gone home after hearing the mayor speak.

“At present we are still monitoring the situation and police members will be patrolling the area throughout the night to ensure that no further looting or other criminal activity takes place,” he said.

Jarvis said that police were still providing escort services to Somali shop owners who were emptying their stores of merchandise after looting broke out in the township earlier today.

Jarvis said Buffelsfontein Road, between 8th and 11th Avenue, as well as Victoria Drive, from Glendore Road toward Buffelsfontein Road, would remain closed tonight.

“There is still a large amount of rubble in the streets which needs to be cleaned up,” he said.

Jarvis said they would inform the public, via the media, once the roads were opened.

Regarding the 19 individuals arrested during yesterday’s protests and who appeared in court today on charges of public violence, Jarvis said the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s court had dismissed the charges and released them.

“These individuals have subsequently returned to the Walmer police station, where they collected their personal items, before returning to the township,” he said.

Jarvis said eight of the nine individuals arrested today had been charged with public violence, while the ninth had been charged with being in possession of suspected stolen property, after being spotted by the police helicopter.

“These individuals will appear in court tomorrow,” he said.