A SAPS police officer pulled out his service handgun and opened fire as Hermanus protesters swarmed him and stole his shotgun whileprotests in the seaside town of Hermanus continued into its third day on Friday.
SAPS and metro police attempted to curb running battles of hundreds of protesters in Mount Pleasant and Zwelihle, two informal settlements outside the Hermanus town centre.
Western Cape premier Helen Zille arrived to speak with protesters on Friday afternoon. However the visit ended in a speedy exit of Zille and police as protesters rushed into the area, throwing rocks and holding self-made shields.
As police were retreating a police officer stumbled and was attacked by protesters. A man ran off with the officer’s shotgun after protesters wrestled the weapon off the officer.
Another man was attempting to grab the officer’s handgun until the officer managed to shove him off and fired live shots into the ground, dispersing the crowd in the process.
Protesters and police continued clashes as night fell over the area.
The protests are reported to beabout Zwelihle community members currently in police custody, who had been arrested earlier in the week. The crowd are reportedly demanding their release.
The Walker Bay recycling plant hadbeen set alight during the protests.
A police officer stumbled and was pounced on by protesters, who ran off with his shotgun. The police officer then opened fire with his 9mm. The running battle between police and Hermanus protesters continues. Video: TimesLIVE YouTube