Hout Bay could explode after protester's death‚ warns community leader

04 July 2017 - 16:34
By Farren Collins
Residents walking through the destroyed mountainside township of Mandela Park in Imizamo Yethu, Hout Bay. File photo
Image: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES Residents walking through the destroyed mountainside township of Mandela Park in Imizamo Yethu, Hout Bay. File photo

The 30-year-old man was shot in the chest after residents of Imizamo Yethu took to the streets to protest over a delay in rebuilding their township‚ which was destroyed by a fire in March.

Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andrè Traut told TimesLIVE: “This office can confirm that the circumstances surrounding a fatality regarding the Hout Bay protest are being investigated. This investigation will be handed over to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.”

Medical attention for the man was delayed because ambulances could not reach him due to road closures caused by the protests.

Emergency Medical Services spokesman Robert Daniels said police were also unable to escort ambulances to the man because of tyres burning at the entrance of the police station.

A source within the community leadership group at Imizamo Yethu‚ who did not want to be named‚ said continued protests and violence were likely as a result of the man’s death unless Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille addressed the community.

“There is a great need that the mayor comes here today‚” the source said. “She has to come and show her [sympathy] because if she doesn’t things are going to spill again.”

Protests that had raged in Hout Bay since Saturday ended on Tuesday after De Lille met community leaders on Monday night and agreed on a plan to continue the reblocking project‚ which included appointing a new management team.

The source said community leaders had been in touch with the mayor’s office‚ but she was in a mayoral committee meeting and they were waiting for confirmation that she would address the community. Attempts by TimesLIVE to reach the mayor’s office were unsuccessful.