Violence erupts after protest

2019-08-22 06:01

KOUGA’S municipal leadership will be holding a community meeting at Hankey next week to address grievances submitted by residents at a service delivery protest on Monday, August 19.

Kouga Speaker, Hattingh Bornman, said key issues raised by residents included delays in the subdivision of the land earmarked for RDP housing, poor road conditions and the ongoing use of the bucket system at the informal settlement Stofwolk.

The meeting will be held at the Vusumzi Landu Hall on Monday, August 26, from 19:00.

Bornman said that while the service delivery protest had taken place peacefully, violence erupted when the crowd dispersed and protesters allegedly started clashing with the police.

According to a statement from the police, rubber bullets and stun grenades had to be used to disorientate the violent protesters and seven people were arrested for tampering with essential infrastructure in contravention of the Criminal Matters Amendment Act 18 of 2015.

The arrests led to further violent protest action on Tuesday when community members gathered to demand that the seven be released.

Police say the protesters ran amok when they could not get their way and started throwing stones. Rubber bullets and stun grenades had to be used again and a further ten people were arrested, bringing the total to 17.

Police have since established a Joint Operations Centre to monitor and respond to outbreaks of violence in the town.

A section of the R331 between Hankey and Patensie remained closed yesterday (Wednesday), with the police advising motorists to use alternative routes.

Humansdorp Cluster Commander, Brigadier John Lebok, warned residents that they would face the full might of the law if they resort to violence.

He said any person found guilty of contravening the Criminal Matters Amendment Act could be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of up to 30 years or issued a fine of up to R100 million.

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