A woman a police constable sustained head injuries after she was hit by a stone and was treated at the Humansdorp Hospital today, 20 September, during violent protests the SAPS has said.
The protest actions today over apparent lack of delivery of promised houses by Kouga Municpality – the second such protest in almost a week on the public road alongside Humansdorp township – turned violent. Protesters’ actions included stoning of private vehicles and destruction of public infrastructure, such as public roads and municipal buildings or infrastructure in Humansdorp. Police used rubber bullets, stun grenades and teargas to disperse sporadic violent groups, but there are no arrests at this stage.
Police have opened a case of tampering with, or damages to essential infrastructures, with additional charges of public violence and malicious damage to property.
The violent actions have been condemned by the SAPS and Humansdorp Cluster Commander, Brigadier JohnLe Bok, warned motorists not to drive on the R330 between St Francis Bay and Humansdorp. Motorists have been asked to use alternative gravel roads via Lombardini or Oyster Bay. The SAPS said earl;ier today if motorists travel on the affected section of the R330 they do so at “their own risk”.
In condemning the violence, Lebok, said route R330, a stretch of about a kilometre near Shuku Shukuma informal settlement in KwaNomzamo area, Humansdorp, was damaged with burning tyres. There were other reported structural damages to some municipal buildings and vehicles including private vehicles that were stoned.
Kouga Municipality announced just after 4 pm today that the St Francis Road to Humansdorp, the R330, will remain closed overnight. And a short press release from the Executive Mayor, Elza van Lingen, soon afterwards said the concerns raised by the protesters are housing, community facilities, water and electricity.
“We arranged to meet with them at the Humansdorp Country Club yesterday. All stakeholders were there to listen and respond to grievances, however, the protesters chose not to attend the meeting.
“We remain committed to resolving the conflict and are working closely with the ward councillor, Lefty Vumazonke, to address the grievances,” she said.
See article and photos previous protests last week:
– Edited by Bev Mortimer