Western Coast Premier Helen Zille says she is “shaken to the core” after visiting Hermanus/Zwelihle. The area has been marred by violence since protestors took to the streets last week to demand the release of a Zwelihle Renewal activist – Gcobani Ndzongana – who is in police custody. Forty-two arrests have reportedly been made in the past few days.

In a report posted on Facebook Sunday night, Zille said:

“Heard first hand accounts from residents of Zwelihle about the extent of the violence and intimidation they face.

“Apart from public facilities (the destruction of the library and swimming pool complex) private houses have been burnt.

“People who went to work had their clothing and furniture removed from their houses and burnt in the street.

“And most gruesomely, some pets have suffered the same fate. [A photograph of an alleged protestor swinging a cat in the air while tied to a cord has sparked outrage. The cat was rumoured to have been thrown in flames, seen in the picture, afterwards.]

“While the police have contained the situation, it is impossible to prevent random roaming groups of thugs from causing this mayhem.

“There are now threats to burn the clinic and the school.

“All political parties and civil society stakeholders, from the churches to the business leaders, speak with one voice in condemning these dreadful acts of violence, which are rooted in internal political contestation within Zwelihle.

“Thugs are now moving from house to house extorting money for legal fees from residents.

“Sadly the trauma seems set to continue [Monday]. It always amazes me how much mayhem a small band of thugs can wreak on a community.”

The South African Police Service (SAPS) describes the situation as “volatile”.

“There is so much trauma, I am shaken to the core. Let’s hope sanity prevails,” said Zille.

Some drone footage i shot today of the riots in Hermanus. It is sad to see how these criminals control our community – Like and share

Posted by Andries Louw on Friday, July 13, 2018