40 arrested for Swellendam violence

The 40 people arrested face charges of public violence, police spokesperson Andre Traut says.

A protester confronts a farmer in a bakkie while others (unseen) block the main road in Swellendam with burning obstacles on15 November 2012. Picture:Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape police on Friday confirmed that 40 people were arrested in connection with violent protests in Swellendam.

Officials have recorded nine injures.

Several businesses were looted and damaged when angry residents went on the rampage overnight.

The unrest is thought to be linked to a court case which the Democratic Alliance (DA) won against opposition parties in the local municipality.

Police spokesperson Andre Traut said the 40 suspects would appear in court once they had been charged with public violence.

He says the situation there is still tense and that police officers have been deployed to the area to maintain law and order.

Traut said officers were also monitoring surrounding areas, including Villiersdorp and Citrusdal, where protest action had also been reported.