The volatile land grab protest in Zwelihle, Hermanus, has resulted in the arrest of 30 protestors for public violence. At the weekend, 26 people were taken into custody, four more were arrested on Monday evening.
Broken glass, rocks strewn on roads and the burnt remains of a bus are reminders of the violence that erupted. The Zwelihle Library was also looted and damaged during the protest.
According to Overberg Municipal Manager, Connie Groenewald, protestors moved onto three vacant pieces of municipal land and demarcated plots for themselves on Friday.
Red Ants, a public order police and evictions company, were called to assist with the situation and managed to temporarily disperse crowds on Sunday. However, reports show that protestors have returned in earnest, creating a volatile and violent situation.
On Tuesday morning, schools in the seaside town closed for the term out of fear for safety. Shops in the centre of town closed to protect their staff. Spaza shops were set alight on Monday evening causing panic among residents.
Police in the area remain on high alert.
Western Cape Housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela is expected to address the community at a meeting in the town at 2pm on Tuesday afternoon.
Contrary to reports, Hermanus SAPS have confirmed that no deaths have occurred during the protests.
#Hermanus this is awkward my uber driver was one of the victims of this and I really didn’t know how to react he was a bit disorientated he missed so many turns he wasn’t thinking straight he was really hurting I was now scared because he seemed emotionally unstable
— Aaron’s Mom (@rooniemuty) March 27, 2018
— #loveSA (@malgaskop) March 27, 2018
Hermanus Land Grabs, South Africa
It’s like World War Z with better CGI! pic.twitter.com/SJgqz6rjbA
— Rational Gent ?? (@RationalGent) March 26, 2018
I’m standing at yesterday’s “ground zero” and my workers are threatened not to go to work. Who benefits from this behavior? This is NOT Hermanus residents!! #Hermanus #LandGrabs pic.twitter.com/oQne1VgHpL
— Kwagga Boucher (@KwaggaBoucher) March 27, 2018