Parents under fire after 'barbaric' Guy Fawkes attacks by Cape Town youngsters
"Disturbing, heartbreaking and barbaric." That was the City of Cape Town's verdict on Friday after Guy Fawkes attacks on elderly people and animals.
"There were numerous incidents of adults and elderly persons being chased, threatened and assaulted by mobs of youngsters brandishing socks filled with paint, Nugget [shoe polish] and sharp objects designed to cause harm," said JP Smith, the city's mayoral committee member for safety and security.
"The metro police incident log also shows these mobs roaming around in areas like Lavender Hill, Matroosfontein, Hanover Park, Bishop Lavis and Lentegeur, throwing firecrackers into the yards of residences and at dogs.
It is an indictment on our society that this is allowed to happen year after year.JP Smith
"This is nothing short of barbaric, and I condemn the actions of these groups of children, but also the parents who are allowing their children partake in these activities.
"It is an indictment on our society that this is allowed to happen year after year. It is not a policing solve. This is a social issue that requires education and awareness and, frankly, better parenting."
Smith said the public emergency communication centre recorded 238 calls about the illegal discharge of fireworks, and 17 about the illegal sale of fireworks.
"Fireworks-related calls started increasing from 6pm, with a spike at 9pm, and only started abating at around 11pm," he said.
"Beacon Valley, Lentegeur and Bonteheuwel had the highest number of calls."