Ricochet News

Call for army to be deployed to quell Zwelihle housing protests

Jul 16, 2018
Call for army to be deployed to quell Zwelihle housing protests

Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, and Acting Provincial Police Commissioner, General Burger, visited Hermanus on Sunday afternoon, where violent housing protests occurred last week.

In a social media post, Premier 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.

"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."

She said that all political parties and civil society stakeholders, from the churches to the business leaders, are speaking 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 tomorrow. It always amazes me how much mayhem a small band of thugs can wreak on a community.

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

According to a statement by the convener of stakeholders, Masizole Mnqasela MPP,the following resolutions have been decided on at the Zwelihle Stakeholders meeting:

  1. That the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) be deployed in Zwelihle with immediate effect.
  2. That the Law and Order be restored in Zwelihle right now, and outstanding arrests be effected on those who continue to break the law, and inflicting pain and harm to society.
  3. That, a conducive environment be created for those with specific information which can lead to positive identification of suspects, and successful prosecution without fear of intimidation.
  4. 4. None of the charges should be dropped against perpetrators of crime. Those who commit crime but remain subjects of the criminal justice system.