The Zwelihle Informal Settlement in Hermanus has been a hotbed of ongoing violence – first during the land grab protests, and now as protestors demand the release of community leader Gcobani Ndongana.
The violence peaked on Thursday evening when a police officer was attack with an axe during a protest.
Speaking to EWN, Hermanus Community Policing Forum (CPF) said the incident occurred shortly after 7pm. The police officer has been admitted to hospital in critical condition.
Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, is expected to address the community on Friday to come up with a solution to the ongoing protests.
This week, the Municipal Manager of the Overstrand Municipality, Connie Groenewald, revealed that the damages caused by the ongoing protests have amounted to approximately R40-million. This has impacted vital infrastructure and equipment.
Protestors in the area have been clashing with police for months – more than 40 protestors were arrested last week and 19 appeared in court last Friday.
“Infrastructure and equipment, including the conveyor belt and baler at the recycling plant (among others), have been burnt, which has caused substantial damage to the waste transfer and recycling plants. Current estimates of damage, but not limited to, the Hermanus Sewage Works, swimming pool buildings, various other buildings and roads, amount to about R40 million,” Groenewald said.
As a result of this, no recycling can take place in Hermanus or Kleinmond any longer.
Western Cape Department of Education spokesperson, Bronagh Hammond, said that the protests have caused disruptions for pupils who attend schools outside of Zwelihle in areas such as Hermanus and Kleinmond.