Schools in Zwelihle, Hermanus where protests and violence have raged for the past couple of weeks, remain closed until further notice. Picture: Sisonke Mlamla
Cape Town - Schools in Zwelihle, Hermanus where protests and violence have raged for the past couple of weeks, remain closed until further notice.

Lukhanyo Primary, Zwelihle Primary and Qhayiya Secondary schools have been shut as residents continue their protest for the release of their leader, Gcobani Ndzongana and others who are in custody.

The principal of Lukhanyo school, Morris Tshabalala said: “We will make an announcement depending on when the situation stabilises and gets back to normal with the help of the police and whoever is engaging with the community.

“This is for the safety of teachers and children. We urge leaders and the community to be peaceful now”

A community member, Ncumisa Sapepa, a mother of a Grade 3 pupil Milani Sapepa, 9, said, “Taking a child to school won’t help anything. Instead, they might be harmed by the bullets shot by police officers. We feel threatened by police officers.”

Reverend Chris Nissen from The Human Rights Commission met the Zwelihle Renewal Committee to open discussions on ways to bringing stability among the community and the police.

“Meetings will continue until the situation is resolved. All that we need is peace in the community, violence is never a solution, hence we as The Human Rights Commission are open to discussions, in trying to understand the main problem within the community,” said Nissen.

DA chairperson of the standing committee on local government, Masizole Mnqasela, called for the army to be deployed. “The army must be deployed with immediate effect. Law and order (must) be restored, and outstanding arrests effected on those who continue to break the law, and inflict pain and harm on society.”

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Cape Argus