Zwelihle protesters assault and rob police officer of service pistol

This was as WCape Premier Helen Zille attempted to address the community on Friday

Zwelihle protesters attack and rob police officer of service pistol

Protesters in Zwelihle, Hermanus robbed a police officer of his service pistol while Western Cape Premier Helen Zille attempted to address the community on Friday.

Community members were unwilling to listen to Zille and opted to use stones to pelt her and City of Cape Town mayoral committee members in attendance.

"It was during this time that the officer was robbed of his service pistol," police spokesperson Colonel Luthando Nosilela told News24.

"The group broke up into two groups and one group started chasing our members. They managed to get one [police officer] and rob him. He is currently in the hospital [and has] head and rib injuries."

Zwelihle Renewal member Sicelo Gxamesi confirmed the incident.

"We have managed to get the gun from the people who took it and we are discussing how to return it safely," Gxamesi said.

Violence flared up in the area when community leader Gcobani Ndzongana was arrested on Tuesday, apparently for incitement.

"We don’t want to talk to anyone until our leader has been released. If he is not released next week Thursday then the shutdown will continue," Gxamesi said.

"People have lost their jobs because of the shutdown. There are small children and old people who are stuck in their homes and [who] are being teargassed."

He added that live rounds have been used to shoot at protesters.

Police have been battling protesters since Tuesday and the public library, the recycling centre and the community pool area were set alight.