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Zille pelted with stones at meeting with Zwelihle protesters

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille tried to speak to protesting community members earlier, but they were having none of it, pelting her with stones.

FILE: Western Cape Premier Helen Zille. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - It's been a day of violence and protest in the Northern and Western Cape.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille is meeting with community members in Zwelihle outside Hermanus on Friday.

The area has been the scene of protests for the past three days now.

Zille tried to speak to protesting community members earlier, but they were having none of it, pelting her with stones.

“We know that communication has been very difficult and, in many cases, non-existent in the past couple of very difficult days, we were there earlier… some people wanted to speak while other wanted to disrupt.”

However, they did come around and are now talking to the premier.

Nineteen protesters were arrested on Thursday on charges of public violence and made their first appearance on Thursday.

Officers say the situation is “very volatile” and they will remain in the area until calm has been restored.

The Hermanus swimming pool facility and a section of the Walker Bay recycling facility were torched on Thursday.

Meanwhile, in Kimberley, police are on high alert in amid widespread violent protests.

On Thursday, a large group of residents peacefully marched to the municipal buildings to hand over a memorandum demanding the suspension of the municipal manager and chief financial officer over alleged corruption.

ANC ward councillor Perdy van Wyk says violence broke out after the mayor addressed the crowd.

"We can't charge the municipal manager. Council is the one that can charge the municipal manager. The people didn't want to hear that. They wanted the municipal manager and the CFO gone. So they went on a rampage, where there was violence, stones were thrown and vandalism..."

Van Wyk says the municipal manager and CFO have been placed on voluntary leave from Friday.

The police's Mashay Gamaldien: "Currently the situation in the greater Kimberley area has subsided, although there are incidents of looting in Roodepan and Galeshewe. The CBD at this stage is quiet but all areas are being patrolled by police."

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