In a second day of protest action, unrest and violence in Hankey in the Eastern Cape citrus farming area yesterday, 20 August, the SAPS used tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse about 1000 people who ran amok and pelted stones at them.
Photo from Smhart Security that helped police and law enforcers in the town
The SAPS said they arrested another 10 protesters (four women and six men), bringing the total arrests in Hankey to 17 since the arrest of seven protesters during Monday’s strikes and violent actions (scroll down to see earlier story).
The road between Patensie and Hankey was again blocked and motorists had to use other routes and many went shopping in Humansdorp instead, eye witnesses said.
A police statement said from around 6 am about 1000 people started marching towards Hankey’s central business district (CBD) area. The road was barricaded to stop the marchers reaching the CBD.
Photo from Smhart Security
The protesters made several demands, which according to eye witnesses at the scene, were for housing, improved service delivery from the current municipal government in Kouga and the release of the seven protesters arrested on Monday this week. It is alleged that when protesters understood this was not going to happen, they ran amok and started throwing stones.
The SAPS used rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse the crowd and 10 people, aged between 26-54, were arrested. They will appear in the Hankey court soon on charges ranging from public violence to malicious damage to property.
The situation in the town is still tense and police said community leaders were addressing protesters in an attempt to end the violence.
The SAPS said police in Hankey have established a Joint Operations Centre to monitor and respond to outbreaks of violence in the town.