Bloody Guy Fawkes

As many as 15 of the 22 peo-ple recorded as having been injured during Guy Fawkes celebrations across the city, were hurt at Strandfontein Pavilion.

According to the City of Cape Town, the designated sites for the discharge of fireworks, at Strandfontein and Athlone, had been the busiest.

At Strandfontein Pavilion, a 10-year-old boy sustained an eye injury and was transported to hospital for further treatment.

The 22 people injured across the city included 18 children – seven girls and 11 boys – and four adults (three women and one man).

JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security; and social services said the windy conditions resulted in the early closure of many of the 12 designated sites for the discharge of fireworks because of safety considerations.

“The fire marshal on site at Maiden’s Cove made the decision to close the site as early as 7pm. A similar decision was made in Table View at 8.15pm. These closures meant an increase in the number of complaints from other beach areas and open spaces in close proximity, but also an increase in the number of people at the Strandfontein and Athlone sites, which turned out to be the busiest on the night,” he said.

Mr Smith said away from the designated sites, the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre fielded 209 calls on the day that were specific to Guy Fawkes and the illegal discharge of fireworks.

He said City staff confiscated hundreds of units of fireworks and issued numerous fines for the illegal sale thereof. They further issued more than 100 verbal warnings about the illegal discharge of fireworks in residential areas and the use of paint socks.

“In Lavender Hill and surrounds a security guard had to be hospitalised after he was attacked along Military Road by a gang of youths brandishing bricks in socks. He sustained injuries to his head and ear.

“Law enforcement officers fired two rubber rounds to ward off the assailants. A man on a bicycle on his way home from church was attacked with paint socks. And woman and two children were injured when a gang attacked them with paint socks.

“This is but an example of the terror many communities endure on Guy Fawkes. Apart from the disturbance that fireworks cause, the behaviour of marauding gangs attacking innocent people is downright criminal.

“The constant sound of fireworks also masks the sound of gunshots, making it difficult for police to respond to real emergencies effectively,” he said.

Dwayne Evans, spokesperson for Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, said four patients were admitted with fireworks-related injuries over the weekend and on Monday November 6.

Among these was a six-year-old girl who was injured on her right arm and released to go home following treatment on Saturday November 4.

The other injured children included a 10-year-old boy whose left eye was injured on Sunday November 5 and a five-year-old who also sustained eye injuries, on Monday November 6. Both the boys are in a stable condition. The last incident involved an eight-year-old boy with eye-related injuries and a serious left hand injury, who was admitted on Monday November 6. He is also in a stable condition.

Mr Evans said the injuries were caused by the discharge of fireworks near to the patients.