Police on high alert in Hermanus


Police and law enforcement remain on high alert in Zwelihle, Hermanus following recent unrest by community members who are protesting for land and housing.

According to media reports the situation in Zwelihle, Hermanus reached a volatile point on Thursday evening when one of the police members was attacked and severely assaulted by protestors.

The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police, Francois Beukman, has strongly condemned the attack on a policeman attached to the Public Order Unit in Zwelihle near Hermanus in the Western Cape.

The member was robbed of his 9mm firearm and shotgun during the attack, the Western Cape police said on Friday.
“No stone should be left unturned to find the perpetrators who committed the attack. Any attack on a SAPS member is a direct attack on the constitutional order and should be condemned by all law abiding citizens,” Beukman said.

The Committee is of the view that members of the public who attacked members of the police should face the full wrath of the law and the courts should deal with them accordingly.
“We have seen too many attacks during 2018 where members of the SAPS have been attacked and killed.
“Communities and community leaders should be at the forefront to support members of the SAPS against any possible attack,” Beukman said.

Beukman called on communities to work with the police in order to bring stability to their communities. The Committee wishes the SAPS member a speedy recovery.

Meanwhile, Police Minister Bheki Cele and provincial police heads also joined by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille held a stakeholder engagement on Friday ahead of an imbizo in the area.

They listened to various stakeholders present at this meeting following Hermanus unrest. Cele hosted a Community Imbizo at the Sport Grounds, Zwelihle, Hermanus.

According to Cele spokesperson, Reneilwe Serero the situation was very “tense and hostile”.
“People there are very angry, but the minister managed to speak to them. Some were passing snide comments, so the easiest way to get the message across was for the leaders to speak to him on the side. The meeting proceeded as planned with the community leadership on the sidelines after they had finished the main meeting.”

Cele is due to meet the leaders again on Tuesday at 9am.
“Today the leaders told the minister what the issues are. It’s a whole range of issues they relayed to the minister. He didn’t want to take a decision there; he said they must meet again on Tuesday, when they’re all calm and have thought things through.”

Pictre: Ahsraf Hendricks/GroundUp.