Hermanus land activist released as Red Ants demolish shacks in Hermanus again

The Red Ants removed shacks in Hermanus again on Thursday, on the same day that community land activist Gcobani Ndzongana was released on bail.

"They are demolishing," said Sicelo Gxamesi, a member of the Zwelihle Renewal Committee (ZRC), as the Red Ants removed a new settlement that sprung up in Zwelihle.

At the same time, he welcomed Ndzongana out of Pollsmoor Prison after Ndzongana's lawyer successfully appealed against an earlier court decision in terms of which he was refused bail.

The lawyer, advocate Thulasizwe Twalo, said he had launched the bail appeal in the Western Cape High Court in a case in which Ndzongana was charged with malicious damage to property and incitement.

The court released Ndzongana, a correctional services officer, at a bail of R5 000.

Last week, charges of crimen injuria against him were withdrawn in the Hermanus Magistrate's Court. However, he was in custody pending the malicious damage and incitement matter. That case, which is back in court in October, relates to the alleged removal of a fence.

In pictures posted by the Red Ants earlier on Thursday, a block of structures made of corrugated iron, were being removed as a group stood at a distance and watched.

Cluster commander Brigadier Donovan Heilbron said just before noon that the shacks were removed in line with a court order and that the residents were complying with the order.

"It is very peaceful," he said.

"They are, in fact, as we speak, assisting the Red Ants to remove the shacks," said Heilbron.

Comment was not immediately available from the Overstrand Municipality's manager Coenie Groenewald, but the municipality posted on Facebook: "Hermanus CPF notification 06/09/18 at 10h50: the structures that have popped up over the last week next to the swimming pool are in the process of being removed by the people who erected them. The Red Ants, SAPS and Law Enforcement are on the scene and the community is cooperating."

Heilbron said that the buildings being dismantled on Thursday were not related to the agreement to allow people to live at a temporary site until Schulphoek was ready.