Farmer allegedly injures 3 after opening fire on protesters blocking his path

2019-07-16 11:21
Residents were protesting about several service delivery issues when the incident allegedly took place. File Photo.

Residents were protesting about several service delivery issues when the incident allegedly took place. File Photo. (Morapedi Mashashe)

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A farmer in the Karoo town of Uniondale is accused of injuring three people after allegedly opening fire on protesters, Southern Cape police said on Tuesday.

"At around 06:00 on Monday, one of the farmers travelling to town was hindered [by the protest] and opened fire, apparently with a shotgun," said Captain Malcolm Pojie.

"We believe that three people were hit or injured but these were slight injuries."

Just a short while later, an unknown person allegedly also opened fire on the protesters, but nobody was injured, said Pojie.

They were investigating the two cases of attempted murder.

Pojie said the cases were opened by a 22-year-old man, who said he was one of the injured protesters.

ALSO READ: Farm workers and farm dwellers protest to demand rural reforms

ANC ward councillor Jacques Esau said residents had been protesting about several service delivery issues.

"On Sunday, a man was burnt to death when a fire destroyed at least seven structures in an informal settlement. This is the third fatality in that camp. About two years ago, a father and his young daughter also burnt to death in another fire," said Esau.

"We were protesting about this and other grievances when the farmer shot at our people. We know this farmer as a short-tempered man. He must be arrested and charged."

Residents were also angered that George Mayor Melvin Naik had not personally received their memorandum.

Naik said that his deputy mayor visited the area on his behalf because he was engaged in a special council meeting.

He was aware that a protest started on Monday, following a fatal fire on Sunday: "However we have no confirmation if this is the actual reason for the protest as our records indicate that the fire department responded within three minutes."

He said no memorandum of grievances was received.

A municipal bakkie was set alight and burnt out on Monday night.

On Tuesday morning, the N9 remained opened with police monitoring the area. There was currently no access into or through town.

All municipal offices remained closed until further notice.

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Read more on:    uniondale  |  crime  |  protests
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