The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) says it is urgently addressing the unstable situation at Hout Bay harbour following violent protests and looting, which took place on Sunday.
During the protests, State properties were damaged, including the coastal offices of the department which were set alight, threatening the lives of officials on site.
According to the department, the cause of the protest is unknown at this stage, but there are allegations that the community was unhappy with enforcement efforts that took place on Friday, resulting in the arrest of two suspects and the suspected drowning of a third suspect.
“The department wishes to place it on record that neither its vessels nor personnel were involved in the anti-poaching operation on Friday. The South African Police Service (SAPS), DAFF security, together with the Department of Public Works are investigating the matter that has hampered operations in the harbour. Engagements with the community will take place,” the department said in a statement on Monday.
Four suspects have been arrested and will be charged with public violence and arson, the department said.
SAPS is maintaining a strong presence in the Hout Bay area.
AgriSA position on land expropriation commended
Meanwhile, Minister Senzeni Zokwana has commended AgriSA for publicly condemning the Afriforum statement about the so-called list of farms that government plans to expropriate.
“Afriforum is so intent on stigmatising the current parliamentary process around land expropriation without compensation such that the peddling of lies, such as these claims of an existing list of farms to be expropriated by government, is done without shame.
“This latest confusion by Afriforum following their overseas drive to mobilise negative sentiments against South Africa is an act of sabotage. It is an act against the national interest of the country,” Zokwana said.
The Minister called on all farmer organizations to work with government throughout the parliamentary process.
“We must isolate Afriforum as any organisation of added value on this question. As government, we want to emphasize that the process of amendment of section 25 and the reform process in that nuanced context will not undermine food security and agricultural sector as a critical economic contributor to our country.
“We reassure that government will undertake a careful process mindful of all the factors,” Zokwana said. – SAnews.gov.za