ANC denies exploiting Hermanus protests

Accusations come after WhatsApp conversation that reads, 'this is a campaign we must lead and drive in terms of our policies...'

ANC denies exploiting Hermanus protests

29 March 2018

The ANC has slammed the Democratic Alliance's (DA) Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela for accusing the party of exploiting the recent protests in Hermanus.

Madikizela's accusations come after an image of a WhatsApp conversation between ANC member of provincial parliament Cameron Dugmore and provincial party secretary Faiez Jacobs, was circulated.

The message read: "this is a campaign we must lead and drive in terms of our policies… we must also look at well-located private land and consider…”

Madikizela suggested that the message was proof that the ANC was exploiting a serious situation for political gain.

"This baseless fabrication by the DA against the ANC and comrade Dugmore is an attempt to hide DA failures in Overstrand for over 10 years to release land for backyarders in Hermanus," ANC Western Cape acting provincial chairperson Khaya Magaxa said.

The protests began last Thursday after a group of backyarders pegged out plots for themselves on vacant municipal land near Zwelihle, on the outskirts of Hermanus, and refused to continue renting in cramped conditions.

They were removed by the Red Ants eviction company, with the support of the Overstrand municipality.

But residents told News24 on Tuesday, after days of protesting, that they would no longer tolerate their cramped living conditions, communal toilets and poor sanitation.

Magaxa explained that the content of Dugmore's WhatsApp conversation was no different from what he had posted on his Facebook page.

"As the ANC, we support the content of his post and it clearly indicates that Comrade Dugmore was deeply concerned about the situation and made proposals as to a campaign to identify land for release," clarified Magaxa.

Magaxa added that the ANC condemned land grabs without reservation.

"The ANC is very clear that all campaigns for land and housing must be conducted in terms of the Constitution and the laws of our country."