Humansdorp Cluster Commander, Brigadier John Lebok has issued a stern warning to violent protesters to refrain from such actions. These violent protest actions are going to face the full might of the law. Brig Lebok said this after seven (07) people were arrested during a violent protest action in Hankey today.
On Monday, 19 August 2019 around 5:30am, it is alleged that a group of about 200 people managed to close route R331 between Hankey and Patensie with burning tyres, cement blocks and tree branches in what is believed to be a service delivery protest. It is also said that protesters pelted two vehicles (a private and a police vehicle) with stones. During the day, Kouga Municipality Mayor, Councillor Horatio Hendricks also addressed protesters, but some of them chose to regroup and continued with violent actions. Police had to use rubber bullets and stun grenades to disoriented violent crowds and managed to arrest seven (07) people for tampering with essential infrastructure (contravention of the Criminal Matters Amendment Act 18 of 2015). Motorists are advised to avoid driving on route R331 between Hankey and Patensie as the situation is very tense. Police are continuing to monitor the situation, and members from Public Order Police Unit are also taking video footages that are going to assist with investigation. There is a possibility of additional arrests during the course of the day. The seven suspects aged between 22 and 45 are due to appear in the Hankey Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, 21 August 2019 on charges relating to the contravention of the Criminal Matters Amendment Act.
Humansdorp Cluster Commander, Brigadier John Lebok urged protesters to be responsible during protest actions or demonstrations. Any person that is found guilty for contravening this Act 18 of 2015 could be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of up to 30 years or issued a fine up to R100million. The purpose of the Act is to ensure that it addresses high incidence of crimes affecting service delivery to the public, such as as theft of cables, water meters, bridge railings, manhole covers, and including damages to infrastructure such as public roads", added Brig Lebok.