Havoc as buildings, home in Hout Bay set alight following death of at least one fisherman

Residents of Hout Bay who are upset about circumstances surrounding the apparent death of at least one suspected poacher have set alight several buildings in and around the harbour on Sunday afternoon.

A source who lives in the Hangberg community, and who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they were upset as officials had allegedly shot at a boat of poachers on Saturday, killing a man.

The City's safety and security mayoral committee member JP Smith said a group of protesting people had attacked city vehicles and the police.

He said the wife and child of a fisheries department official in Hout Bay were attacked in their private home, with people shooting flares and throwing stones.

One home burnt to the ground while another property had slight damages, he added.

"[Two] sea fisheries store rooms on the harbour [were] also set alight by disgruntled protesters."

City traffic services spokesperson Maxine Jordaan said a police boat launching building inside the harbour was set alight.

She urged motorists to avoid roads in and around the harbour.

Protesters dispersed around 15:00. 

Cape Town law enforcement spokesperson Wayne Dyason said at 17:00 that around 300 people had started to gather at the top of Hangberg.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI)'s Craig Lambinon said in a statement that "concerned family had raised the alarm reporting that the fishing boat was overdue since during Friday night and the early hours of Saturday morning".

He said during a search operation it was later confirmed that the boat and two of the fishermen were accounted for and ashore. He said one of the fishermen was still missing since Friday night.

"Despite an extensive search no sign of the missing man has been found." He said the search operation continued on Sunday. 

"Two NSRI Hout Bay sea rescue craft, Nadine Gordimer and Albie Matthews, and a sea rescue vehicle patrolling along Chapmans Peak Drive, continued in an ongoing search operation but no sign of the missing fisherman has been found."

Western Cape police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut, did not provide answers after being asked to confirm the death and provide details on the circumstances surrounding the fishing boat.

He said police were deployed to Hout Bay on Sunday and three people were arrested for public violence.

"Our members will remain in the area to maintain law and order."