Richard Pierce's book launch postponed due to violent protests in Hermanus

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Community members are seen in Hermanus. (Jenni Evans, News24)
Community members are seen in Hermanus. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Penguin Random House SA on Thursday confirmed that the launch of author Richard Pierce's new book Cuddle Me Kill Me was postponed due to violent protest action in Hermanus.

The company posted a message on Facebook alerting people who wanted to attend the event.

"Dear book lovers, due to the protest action and in the interests of safety, Penguin Random House has decided to postpone the launch of Richard Pierce's new book Cuddle Me Kill Me, which was to have been held this evening at The Book Cottage (Hermanus).

"We hope to host the event toward the end of May, subject to confirmation within a few days. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused, and hope you'll able to join us at a later date," read the post.

READ: Hermanus Schulphoek land owners agree to sell amid protests

Penguin Random House SA confirmed the notice to News24.

Impatient residents

The company said the launch would now take place on May 31 at 18:00.

According to a press release, the veteran wildlife campaigner reveals in his new book the story of two male lions rescued from a breeding farm.

He talks about the exploitation and misery of these apex predators when they are bred in captivity and how young cubs are first used for petting by an adoring (and paying) public, as well as the subsequent use for "'walking-with-lions" tourism.

Pierce told News24 that the protest had nothing to do with his new book.

"Protests in Hermanus flared up again today with rubber bullets being shot and teargas. I had well over 100 people who had committed to attending the book launch and I did not think it would be fair to place them in danger."

Pierce was referring to ongoing protest action by Hermanus residents, who have reportedly become impatient about the government's promise to give them land, so that they can build houses.

News24 reported that residents had started clearing land in Schulphoek to prepare to build their own structures as they grew impatient with the red tape involved in the transfer of the "promised land" to them.

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