13 September 2017

South Africa: Netwerk24 Journalist Assaulted, Robbed in Kleinmond

A senior Netwerk24 photographer was assaulted and robbed of all his belongings by protesters in Mooi Uitsig, Kleinmond, on Wednesday.

"They kicked me in the face and hit me against the head with a stone. They surrounded me, everything was grabbed from my body. They fled towards the mountains," Jaco Marais told Netwerk24.

Large scale violent protests are taking place in the area at the moment.

Protest action broke out two weeks ago as residents of the Overhills informal settlement expressed their displeasure that a local resident had not been awarded a tender to clean up the town's streets.

"Residents are now using live ammunition to protect their properties. It is going to spiral into a racial fight," said Rudolph Smith, mayor of the Overstrand Municipality.

Smith confirmed that all the shops in the town had been closed.

"Our buildings have also been closed and our vehicles have been sent to Hermanus after protesters threatened to set them alight," he added.

"This is no longer a protest just about service delivery or a tender. It's now criminals who are holding the town to ransom."

According to Smith, some protesters had set fire to sections of the Kleinberg mountain. Some had measured out plots and begun setting up structures.

"Authorities broke the structures down. Residents then threw stones at police and law officials. They also rolled big rocks down the mountain," he added.

He said that the situation had been inflamed further after some protesters hurled petrol bombs at properties.

Roads into the town had once again been closed.

A bakkie was burnt out during protests in Kleinmond. (Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

Source: Netwerk24

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