A community member who has been part of the protests in Hermanus has blamed “drug addicts” for the violence that gripped the coastal town on Monday.
Speaking outside a gutted library, Masibulele Jimlongo said before starting the protest, the community had decided as a collective not to destroy property.
“We decided that we will never break a school and a library, but there are what we call amaparapara who break the library,” he said adding that the addicts were the ones responsible for the vandalism of property and were hiding behind the community’s genuine grievances.
Hermanus has been gripped by protests that started on Thursday and came to a head on Monday. A satellite police station was set alight, a library gutted and spaza shops looted.
Meanwhile chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police Francois Beukman said in a statement the torching of police stations was high treason. He called for the “highest sanction possible” against those who committed these crimes.
“We call on the leaders in all communities to direct their members to ensure that the infrastructure and facilities of the SAPS do not become the target of criminals and arsonists. Police stations are there to serve all citizens and should never be used as a tool for short-term gain,” he said.