Hermanus Zwelihle


Hermanus protests: Huge crowd shuts down road to support arrested protesters

Things have picked up again in the coastal town of Hermanus. A large group of residents have come out to support those who were arrested during the recent unrest.

Hermanus Zwelihle


The Western Cape town of Hermanus had been slowly getting back to normal after attempted land grabs caused chaos last month. Local residents demanded housing and adequate services but things turned nasty and protesters clashed with police. Outside criminals are also believed to have taken advantage of the situation.

During the course of those protests, at least 79 people were arrested for public violence. Busses were torched together with the public library and police station.

Fast forward to Tuesday where a portion of the R45 in central Hermanus was closed. A particularly large crowd had gathered to support those arrested who were set to have their bail hearings. Western Cape police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana told members of the media that around 1500 people were protesting outside the Hermanus Magistrate’s Court

According to reports, 11 people are expected to appear in court on Tuesday for their bail hearings. They face charges of public violence as well as malicious damage to property.

During the protests last month, two police officers sustained minor injuries and two police vehicles were damaged.

So how did the chaos start last month?

A group of residents began marking out plots on vacant municipal land near the township of Zwelihle. The now infamous eviction company, red ants, were called in and forcefully removed them from the land. After that, things turned violent and property began being destroyed.

The group who attempted to grab the land said they were no longer going to accept renting shacks with other people in massively ramped conditions.

The situation drew the attention of politicians nationally as the ANC and various members condemned the attempted land grabs. Western Cape housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela eventually met with residents and assured them that land would be made available to backyarders.

You can check out some pictures of the crowds today below.