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3 injured, 5 arrested in violent Zwelihle protests

Hermanus police officers earlier fired rubber bullets and lobbed tear gas in a bid to disperse protesters.

FILE: Residents of Zwelihle mobilise on 17 May 2018 as they protest for land and housing in Hermanus. Picture: @REDANTS_CT/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Two police officers and a protester have been injured in violent demonstrations in Zwelihle, Hermanus.

Five people have also been arrested for public violence.

Hermanus police officers earlier fired rubber bullets and lobbed tear gas in a bid to disperse protesters.

Hundreds of residents blocked the road early on Wednesday morning by burning tyres and other debris.

The police's Frederick van Wyk says law enforcement officers are monitoring the situation.

“The community members from Zwelihle tried to damage the local primary school in Mount Pleasant but were [prevented] back by our Hawks members and Mount Pleasant community members. We can confirm that action was taken to disperse the riotous crowd. No reports of damages have been reported.”

The situation has been volatile in that area for several months now, as the community demonstrates over land and service delivery.

At the same time, Councillor Lindile Ntsabo says angry residents went on a rampage after they discovered charges of incitement of violence and destruction of public property were apparently laid against a Zwelihle community activist.

“They were claiming that they want [Police] Minister Bheki Cele because they believe all the allegations opened against Xobani Nzongani need to be dropped.”

The man has however not been arrested.

The violence has forced the shutdown of the Hermanus Community Day Centre with patients urged to visit their nearest clinic and the Hermanus Hospital in case of an emergency.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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