EIGHT Democratic Alliance members were attacked with bags filled with trash during a cleanup in upper Oxford Street yesterday.
A woman member of the party was hit in the face and said her cheek was swollen and a “rash” was appearing.
Bottles and stones were also thrown but there were no other injuries reported.
DA BCM operations manager Marion Mackley said their group of about 40 members and councillors – led by the party’s provincial leader Athol Trollip – was attacked by a group of suspected strikers who emptied the bags of trash they had collected back into the Oxford Street and St George’s Road intersection.
“Some more are coming!” she shouted on the phone. “They are throwing bags at us! They are hitting our backs. They are tearing the bags and damaging vehicles, but we are carrying on!”
DA councillor Kobus Botha said some attackers wore Samwu T-shirts.
Trollip said the attackers had told him in Xhosa that they would make sure that “this place is dirty”.
The alleged strikers also accused the DA group of taking away their jobs, and one jibed: “Where are the other white people? Why have they only got black people working for you today?”
Nosimo Balindlela, the former ANC member and Eastern Cape premier-turned DA Amathole constituency director, claim the attackers said to her: “You are so thin because you are no longer getting that fat cheque from the ANC. You look miserable.”
But she said: “We came to clean the community and show that we care. Their behaviour was disgusting. How can we expect to improve BCM’s economy? We will lose investors. Nobody wants a dirty city.”
Trollip said about 100 people, believed to be Samwu workers, had emerged from a meeting at a nearby church hall and started throwing bottles, stones and bags at the DA group.
He said: “BCM is a disgrace. Trash has not been removed for two weeks. BCM ANC are sitting with their arms folded and can’t, or won’t, negotiate with the workers.”
Elsewhere scores of business people and residents heeded a call by Algoa FM to clean their own section of neighbourhood.
Michele Gravett, of Jawitz Properties East London, said all their eight estate agents donned household gloves and cleaned their area of Beach Road of hundreds of bags.
She said it felt so “liberating and positive” that they distributed 200 leaflets calling on residents in Nahoon to join the effort.
In Western Avenue, Vincent, Algoa FM show host Gordon Graham and about 15 staff from the station, the local SuperSpar and a car servicing firm were cleaning up.
A cockroach ran out of his trash, and he and staffers screeched before Graham stood on it. “Something was moving in there. I am a big woes!” he quipped.
The station was bowled over by the huge public response it received to its call for people in the community to get out there and clean up.
Algoa FM staffer Jill Andrews and Tracey Gravett listed nine people and groups who were cleaning up in Greenfields, Nahoon, Beacon Bay, West Bank and Southernwood.
Samwu BCM secretary Zolani Ndlela did not respond to calls. — email@example.com