Chaos as Imizamo Yethu protests continue

Stun grenades and teargas were fired on protesters outside the Hout Bay police station shortly after midday on Monday.

The clashes in the afternoon came after the protesters learnt that Mayor Patricia de Lille would not be coming to address them.
Gathering at the police station, riot police quickly followed and fired stun grenades and teargas cannisters to disperse the crowd.

Protesters who had fled into the settlement then lobbed stones at the police below, who responded by firing what appeared to be rubber bullets.

Community leader Kenny Tokwe said the leadership had been told that Ms de Lille had received information that she would be attacked by the protesters.

However, shortly after 2pm the Sentinel  learnt that the mayor was meeting with the leadership to plan the way forward. 

After earlier skirmishes between police and protesters, who had blocked Hout Bay’s exit and entry points from 4am, there had be several hours without incident. A heavy police contingent gathered at the Imizamo Yethu traffic circle, where protesters sang and toyi-toyed, awaiting the arrival of Ms de Lille.

Shortly after 7am, protesters on Victoria Avenue threw rocks at any members of the public who ventured too close. According to Law Enforcement officers on the scene, a live round was fired but it was unclear who was responsible for this.

Several vehicles were set alight on Victoria Road, while a group of about 50 protesters marched through the suburb of Penzance where vehicles were overturned. They also stormed the BP garage, breaking glass and looting goods.

Trees were also cut down at various points along Victoria Road, before members of the Public Order Policing unit and Metro police moved in.
Mkhululi Ndude, chairperson of the IY Movement, said “this day will go down in history as the day Hout Bay changed forever”.

“The City needs to keep its promises to the people that Imizamo Yethu so people can return there from the fields. There are some white ratepayers here in Hout Bay who don’t want us here, but we are part of this community and they have to accept us,” he said.

“We need to build a future for all our kids”.