Hout Bay pow­der keg af­ter ‘poacher’ dis­ap­pears

Cape Times - - FRONT PAGE - Do­minic Adri­aanse do­minic. adri­aanse@ inl. co.za

AN­GRY Hang­berg res­i­dents clashed with po­lice and torched build­ings and a ve­hi­cle af­ter two days of search­ing for a young fisher, pre­sumed lost at sea, fol­low­ing an al­ter­ca­tion with au­thor­i­ties on Fri­day.

He was al­leged to be fish­ing il­le­gally.

Po­lice say two sus­pects were ar­rested while a fish­ing boat with cray­fish and fish­ing nets was seized.

A miss­ing per­son docket was un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Res­i­dents had gath­ered at the slip­way at the Hout Bay har­bour yes­ter­day, where sev­eral small scale fish­ers had un­der­taken their own search for the fisher.

The sit­u­a­tion soon be­came volatile as res­i­dents set alight build­ings be­long­ing to the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture, Forestry and Fish­eries (Daff) at the har­bour.

Pro­test­ers went to the home of one the Daff of­fi­cials in Mil­ner Street, Hout Bay, and al­legedly held his fam­ily hostage be­fore of­fi­cials ar­rived. His ve­hi­cle was torched.

Hang­berg res­i­dent An­gelo Josephs said the young fisher was in his mid twen­ties and went out to sea on Fri­day with two fel­low fish­ers when they were ap­proached by Daff of­fi­cials.

“They do not have per­mits and the of­fi­cials call it poach­ing but this is what the men in our com­mu­nity are forced to do in or­der to put food on the ta­ble. We were told Daff of­fi­cials came and shots were fired and he went over­board and has been miss­ing for al­most two days,” said Josephs.

Hout Bay Fish­ers Com­mu­nity Trust spokesper­son Ikram Halim said: “The peo­ple said they would shut the har­bour down to get the at­ten­tion of the au­thor­i­ties as the search by the Na­tional Sea Res­cue In­sti­tute (NSRI) was de­layed be­cause of choppy wa­ters.”

The City had re­ported that two sea fish­eries store­rooms at the har­bour were set alight and one house was razed in Mil­ner Road.

Later dur­ing the day, the City re­ported fire­fight­ers were bat­tling to ex­tin­guish an­other fire at a build­ing that had been set alight.

Po­lice spokesper­son An­dre Traut said po­lice were in­ves­ti­gat­ing a case of il­le­gal poach­ing. “Pro­vin­cial de­tec­tives are prob­ing a case of pub­lic vi­o­lence fol­low­ing a protest in Hout Bay that saw two build­ings set on fire.

“Three sus­pects have been ar­rested.”

NSRI spokesper­son Craig Lam­bi­non said two NSRI Hout Bay sea res­cue craft and a sea res­cue ve­hi­cle pa­trolled along Chap­mans Peak Drive in an on­go­ing search op­er­a­tion.

Daff Min­is­ter Sen­zeni Zok­wana’s spokesper­son Khaye Nk­wanyana said: “Our of­fi­cials are still pro­vid­ing us with in­for­ma­tion so we can as­cer­tain what oc­curred.”

Pic­ture: Armand Hough/ African News Agency (ANA)

RUN­NING BAT­TLE: Fire­fight­ers at a torched ve­hi­cle, be­lieved to be­long to a fish­eries of­fi­cial, af­ter some Hang­berg res­i­dents in Hout Bay took to the streets and protested yes­ter­day. This was af­ter it was al­leged that a fisher, sus­pected of poach­ing, was shot by po­lice.

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