Man accused of attacking cop during Zwelihle unrest granted bail

A man accused of attacking a police officer during unrest in Zwelihle, Hermanus succeeded in his bid for freedom after the Hermanus Magistrate's Court released him on bail on Friday.

Niekeer Patroos, who has also been charged with public violence, allegedly attacked the officer on the evening of July 12. The violence in the area was sparked by the arrest of Zwelihle Renewal leader Gcobani Ndzongana.

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Patroos' employer reported him to the police after spotting him among protesters on television.

In court on Friday, defence advocate Mafu Masina said that a robbery charge against his client had been withdrawn because the employer's evidence was contradictory.

'Under house arrest'

"The senior prosecutor decided that [Patroos] had done nothing wrong in terms of the robbery charge. Now, only the charge of public violence remains," he added.

"He has been released on R500 bail on condition that he [does] not participate in any illegal activities and is under house arrest."

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Ndzongana is accused of helping to remove a fence which apparently separated Zwelihle from a neighbouring suburb.

He was denied bail when he appeared in the Strand Magistrate's Court on charges of malicious damage to property and incitement to violence.

Patroos is expected to appear in the Hermanus Magistrate's Court again on August 16.