Mother mourns 2-week-old baby girl who died during Zwelihle protests

2018-07-16 19:44
Two-week-old Anothando who died from tear gas inhalation. (Christina Pitt, News24)

Two-week-old Anothando who died from tear gas inhalation. (Christina Pitt, News24)

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A young mother is grieving over her two-week-old baby girl who allegedly died after inhaling tear gas during the recent violent protests in Zwelihle, Hermanus.

Vuyiswa Kapiyane's baby died on Friday, as protests broke out in the community. Residents had been demanding that police release community leader Gcobani Ndzongana.

The community embarked on a violent shutdown, and police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters.

"On Friday, Anothando inhaled tear gas, so we took her to the hospital at 04:00," Kapiyane said.

The child later died at the hospital. 

Western Cape police say no charges have been laid. 

 "I have heard that rumour, but no one has come forward to dispute it. So I cannot confirm or deny this," Colonel Luthando Nosilela told News24

ALSO READ: Zwelihle protesters attack and rob police officer of service pistol

A member of community organisation Zwelihle Renewal, Sicelo Gxamesi, visited the Kapiyane household to present them with R5 000, which had been collected by the community.

"We are not taking responsibility for what happened, but we are visiting the families because we see how bad it is," Gxamesi said.

"[Anothando's parents] are both unemployed, so we gathered some cents to help with the funeral."

The area was rocked by protests which turned violent when Ndzongana was arrested on Tuesday last week, apparently for incitement.

Nosilela confirmed that Ndzongana will appear in the Hermanus Magistrate's Court on Thursday on charges of incitement and public destruction of property.

On Saturday, another member of Zwelihle Renewal, Theron Mqhu, said residents were now calling for their leader to be released and were no longer protesting about land, which had sparked initial protests in the area earlier in the year.

Read more on:    cape town  |  protests

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