Cape Town – A man is in a critical condition in Victoria Hospital, Wynberg, after he was hit by a bullet during ongoing protests in the Hout Bay area on Monday morning, paramedics said.
It is unclear whether the bullet was fired by law enforcement officials or protesters, Western Cape Health Emergency Medical Services spokesperson Robert Daniels told News24.
In a statement, he said protest action complicated the response from paramedics and, as such, they were only able to arrive at the scene in 30 minutes.
On Monday morning, protesters could be seen overturning vehicles, setting alight rubble and carrying corrugated iron into streets.
Police used rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the crowds.
Western Cape police said that four people had been arrested for public violence.
Victoria Road and Main Road in Hout Bay were closed to traffic on Monday morning.
Imizamo Yethu residents are calling on Mayor Patricia de Lille to address the community, but she was allegedly advised to avoid the area out of fear for her safety.
Community members believe the City has broken its promise to provide essential services following the devastating fires in March.
News24 previously reported that City of Cape Town mayoral committee for safety, JP Smith, had called the behaviour of the protesters "riotous", and had called on police to use video footage to ensure individuals were prosecuted.
"The situation in Hout Bay has become serious and it is clear that it is no longer a matter of community protest, but has now entered the realm of sheer criminality," he said.
In a statement, Western Cape police said personnel from public order policing, the stabilisation unit and visible policing had been deployed to the area.
Police are working closely with law enforcement agencies to quell the situation and to restore tranquillity to the area, spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut said.