Frozen rock lobster, crayfish seized after Hout Bay shootout

2018-08-17 20:23

One person was taken to hospital and another two were arrested after a shooting in troubled Hout Bay ended with police seizing about R80 000 worth of frozen rock lobster and crayfish, spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said on Friday.

She said that police received information of "criminal activity" in Hangberg, a suburb near the harbour and on their arrival at the address on Thursday afternoon, a shooting occurred.

Two people were wounded, but only one opted to go to hospital. The other two people were arrested.

"Police discovered an unlicensed 12-gauge shotgun, 19 bags of frozen rock lobster and crayfish worth an estimated street value of R80 000," said Rwexana.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) would add the latest shooting to its investigations into events in Hout Bay linked to alleged poaching and the disappearance of a fisherman at sea during a police operation last weekend.

It would also establish the finer details of Thursday's shooting, to ascertain whether police had been shot at.

In the meantime, missing fisherman Deurick van Blerk had still not been found by Friday afternoon.

READ: Hangberg protests turn violent, father demands answers on missing fisherman son

He apparently fell overboard allegedly after the police's anti-poaching task force shot him during an operation in the area last Friday.

"My head is actually by the sea," said his father, Edward van Blerk, at the family's hillside home in Hangberg.

This was after rumours that a body had washed up in nearby Sea Point, Cape Town, were quickly quashed by the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), and the South African Police Service (SAPS).

"It was a rumour going around Facebook in Hout Bay, but we don't know anything about it," said NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon.

Speaking outside his house, which has a sweeping view of the harbour, Edward said they had also heard the rumour and checked up on it.

"There is nothing," he said.

Earlier he had been at a meeting with IPID which is investigating the allegations that the alleged poachers Deurick was with were shot at.

He said two firearms had been handed over IPID, but beyond that, officials were tight-lipped about the investigation.

Finding Deurick 'crucial'

Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries spokesperson Khaye Nkwanyana said that finding Deurick was crucial.

"The community is saying he was shot and there were shots fired. It is the word of the community against the SAPS, and we must find the body," said Nkwanyana.

He said the operation was supposed to have been to chase, apprehend and arrest any poachers.

"We need to clear up whether they were actually shot at," he said.

Until Deurick is found to clear this up, Minister Senzeni Zokwana would hold off on visiting the community, his parents and his pregnant girlfriend.

Boats, factory torched

However, Zokwana has issued directives to accelerate the allocation of fishing rights in four coastal provinces to small-scale fisheries and coastal communities beginning this September.

He also wanted the finalisation of appeals related to allegations that West Coast rock lobster fishing rights allocations had been awarded to people allegedly fronting for big companies.

He wants the appeals finalised by August 31, and the allocations to be in place for when the season opens on December 1.

READ MORE: Minister to accelerate allocation of fishing rights after Hout Bay protests

Protests flared up in Hout Bay on Saturday with two government buildings and the home of a local fisheries official torched. 

Fishing boats were diverted to Cape Town harbour and on Monday two boats and a factory were torched.

Nkwanyana said fishing boats were still being diverted.

On Friday Hout Bay businesses were open again, tourists were spotted sight-seeing, and schooling was back to normal.

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