Hermanus Zwelihle


Zwelihle updates: Police officer attacked with axe during protests

He remains in a critical condition.

Hermanus Zwelihle


The Zwelihle protests have shown very little signs of calming this week, as one police officer was attacked with an axe by unidentified demonstrators.

The officer is now in a critical condition at an Overstrand hospital. Hermanus CPF told EWN that the incident occurred shortly after 19:00 on Thursday night.

It’s also been reported that the officer has his weapons stolen from him during the attack.

What has caused the Zwelihle protests?

A disgruntled group of the Zwelihle community is said to be behind these protests. The group demands that their community leader, Gcobani Ndzongana, be released from imprisonment immediately.

Ndzongana is one of over 49 protesters who has been arrested and charged with incitement. On Thursday, his case was pushed back 24 hours and transferred to the Strand Magistrates’ Court.

Police Minister Bheki Cele is due in the coastal town on Friday, as authorities battle to restore a semblance of civility in the area.

How is Hermanus affected?

Some schools in the area are yet to begin their new term, but the Hermanus CBD remains largely unaffected. Businesses and the usual attractions remain open and functional.

The local municipality have confirmed arrests were made overnight, following the attack on the officer. After the initial evening chaos, Friday morning saw no signs of protest action and the R43 (main road in and out of Hermanus) remains open.

However, access to roads in Zwelihle will stay closed off until further notice. The visit of Bheki Cele is also likely to disrupt traffic.