The situation in Hermanus is seemingly worsening following an attempted land grab in the Western Cape town over the weekend.
Rubber bullets were flying earlier on Monday after a police station was torched overnight. The tensions began when a group of residents began occupying a piece of vacant land belonging to the state. The residents marked out plots and headed to the municipal manager’s office to call for a water and electricity supply.
All hell really started breaking loose once the Red Ants arrived and began to remove people from the land.
DA Constituency Head of Overstrand, Masizole Mnqasela has confirmed that police have arrested over 25 people in connection with land invasion, public unrest and other illegal activities.
The land invasion and subsequent protests have led to the destruction of property as well as xenophobic attacks.
Mnqasela has also called on the police to take all the necessary action.
“I call on the SAPS to act in full force against those who occupy land illegally, perpetrate violence, and damage to property. I condemn the xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals as a result of the ongoing protests and call on SAPS to ensure the safety of all residents and property in the area.”
Aside from the torched police station, the public library and multiple busses have also been vandalised.
With the DA governing the Western Cape, the party says it is “highly committed” to solving service delivery disputes in a practical manner.
“As a caring government, we will not stand idle while public and private property is invaded and public service infrastructure is damaged at the cost of service delivery.”
— Ricardo Mackenzie (@ricardomackenzi) March 26, 2018
— RED ANTS W/CAPE (@REDANTS_CT) March 26, 2018
With the issue of land expropriation firmly at the forefront of the country’s political discourse, incidents like this may become more of a regular occurrence.