Arrested Zwelihle protest leader is a correctional services officer, court hears

2018-07-20 11:12
Zwelihle Renewal leader Gcobani Ndzongana appeared at the Strand Magistrate's Court. Only family and media were allowed to enter the building. (Christina Pitt, News24)

Zwelihle Renewal leader Gcobani Ndzongana appeared at the Strand Magistrate's Court. Only family and media were allowed to enter the building. (Christina Pitt, News24)

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Zwelihle Renewal leader Gcobani Ndzongana is an officer at the Department of Correctional Services, the Strand Magistrate's Court heard on Friday.

As a result, he would need to be placed in a single cell at Pollsmoor Prison for his own safety. Police spokesperson Colonel Luthando Nosilela confirmed that Ndzongana was a prison warden at Pollsmoor.

Ndzongana's arrest for incitement and destruction of property last week Tuesday was the catalyst for the ongoing violent protests in the Zwelihle community in Hermanus.

LIVE: High tension in Hermanus

"Gcobani is an officer, he works for correctional services so his life will be in danger," Ndzongana's lawyer Thulasiziwe Twala said.

"I requested that he either be kept at the police station or that we get a commitment from his colleagues from correctional services ... that he will be kept safe."Ndzongana will appear in court for his bail application on July 27.

A large crowd gathered outside the building as only Ndzongana's family and members of the press were allowed into the court building for safety reasons.

His family refused to speak to the media and threatened to take legal action against journalists who covered the case.

READ MORE: Policeman severely assaulted, robbed in volatile Hermanus

Police Minister Bheki Cele is set to visit Zwelihle along with a high-level delegation on Friday.

This comes after protesters clashed with police enforcement who fired rubber bullets and tear gas at stone-wielding residents.

On Thursday, a police officer was brutally attacked with an axe and robbed of his service pistol.


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