The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) says it is urgently addressing the unstable situation at Hout Bay harbour following violent protests and looting, which took place on Sunday.
During the protests, State properties were damaged, including the coastal offices of the department which were set alight, threatening the lives of officials on site.
According to the department, the cause of the protest is unknown at this stage, but there are allegations that the community was unhappy with enforcement efforts that took place on Friday, resulting in the arrest of two suspects and the suspected drowning of a third suspect.
“The department wishes to place it on record that neither its vessels nor personnel were involved in the anti-poaching operation on Friday. The South African Police Service (SAPS), DAFF security, together with the Department of Public Works are investigating the matter that has hampered operations in the harbour. Engagements with the community will take place,” the department said in a statement on Monday.
Four suspects have been arrested and will be charged with public violence and arson, the department said.
SAPS is maintaining a strong presence in the Hout Bay area.