Kleinmond protesters rule out deal with mayor
Overstrand mayor Rudolph Smith planned to address hundreds of protesters in Kleinmond on Wednesday‚ but community leaders said there was no hope of a deal to end two weeks of unrest.
The small Western Cape coastal town is in uproar after a municipal cleaning tender was not awarded to the protesters’ preferred candidate‚ and community leader Ayanda Tyulu said the police wanted to arrest him and 11 others for inciting violence.
“This situation is out of control because the mayor wants to sue us but we also want to sue him‚” said Tyulu.
“We saw on social media that they say they are going to make sure that they are going to arrest us. That is why the situation is tense — our people are fighting with the police.”
Tyulu said he had no control over protesters who barricaded the main road through Kleinmond on Wednesday‚ set fire to the mountainside and begun occupying land.
“The only thing that can stop this‚ it’s one thing‚ they must bring back the tender to us‚” he said.
Smith said the community leaders were using violence in an attempt to force the municipality to reverse the awarding of a cleaning tender to a woman in Zwelihle‚ Hermanus.
Contrary to what Tyulu told community members two weeks ago‚ Smith said the Kleinmond cleaning tender had strict conditions which meant that all employees had to be locals and the store room for tools had to be in the town.
“To us‚ [it’s clear] this issue is specifically about the community’s unhappiness about the person [to whom the tender was awarded]‚” said Smith.
“We met with them and explained the processes to them. For some reason they don’t want to understand that.”