Dozens arrested after violent protests over land in Hermanus

The trouble started on Friday when a group of people tried to occupy a piece of land.

Residents of Zwelihle near Hermanus protest on Monday 26 March 2018. Picture: Twitter/@HermanusOnline

CAPE TOWN - Dozens of arrests have been made following days of violent protests in Hermanus.

The trouble started on Friday when a group of people tried to occupy a piece of land.

When they were prevented from doing so, tensions boiled over.

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A satellite police station was torched, along with a vehicle.

Over the weekend, protesters also set fire to a library and attacked a recycling site.

Ward councillor Lindile Ntsabo says angry community members met with the mayor on Monday night to discuss their grievances.

“They are not receiving the land which they occupied illegally. There is another possibility that they’ll receive something. This will be announced by the mayor.”

Meanwhile, in Gauteng, five people were arrested for attempting to occupy land in Midrand. In another incident, a group of Alexandra residents attempted to grab land in Marlboro but was stopped by the police.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to prevent land invasions in the country.

The party has also accused the Economic Freedom Fighters of encouraging people to break the law and illegally occupy land.

On Human Rights Day, EFF leader Julius Malema said there’s no human rights without the ownership of land.

“There’s no human rights in a shack, without justice or dignity. Our land in our dignity.”

Malema says South Africa needs to understand that land expropriation without compensation is no longer a debate topic but a reality.

President Ramaphosa has said that government will handle the land matter carefully through dialogue.

Additional reporting by Mia Lindeque & Babalo Ndenze.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)