Ricochet News

Seven arrested during violent Hankey protest, police warn protesters

Aug 20, 2019
Seven arrested during violent Hankey protest, police warn protesters

Hankey - Hankey SAPS Cluster Commander, Brigadier John Lebok, on Monday issued a stern warning against violence during protests.

"These violent protest actions are going to face the full might of the law," he said.

Brig Lebok said this after seven people were arrested during a violent protest action in Hankey on Monday.

"On Monday, at around 5:30am, it is alleged that a group of about 200 people managed to close route R331 between Hankey and Patensie with burning tyres, cement blocks and tree branches in what is believed to be a service delivery protest," described police spokesperson, Sergeant Majola Nkohli.

"It is also said that protesters pelted two vehicles (a private and a police vehicle) with stones."

During the day, Kouga Local Municipality Mayor, Horatio Hendricks, also addressed the protesters, but some of them regrouped and continued with the violent protest.

"Police had to use rubber bullets and stun grenades to disoriented violent crowds and managed to arrest seven people for tampering with essential infrastructure (contravention of the Criminal Matters Amendment Act 18 of 2015)," said Sgt Nkohli.

Motorists were advised to avoid driving on route R331 between Hankey and Patensie as the situation was very tense.

"Police are continuing to monitor the situation, and members from Public Order Police Unit are also taking video footages that are going to assist with investigation. There is a possibility of additional arrests during the course of the day."

The seven suspects, aged between 22 and 45, are due to appear in the Hankey Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday on charges relating to the contravention of the Criminal Matters Amendment Act.

Brigadier Lebok urged protesters to be responsible during protest actions or demonstrations.

"Any person that is found guilty for contravening this Act 18 of 2015 could be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of up to 30 years or issued a fine up to R100 million. The purpose of the Act is to ensure that it addresses high incidence of crimes affecting service delivery to the public, such as as theft of cables, water meters, bridge railings, manhole covers, and including damages to infrastructure such as public roads,” added Brig Lebok.

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