Cape Town – Mystery shrouds the discovery of the bodies of two alleged poachers near Gansbaai.
Community leader Xolani Msweli said residents understood a group of about eight alleged poachers were arrested by SANDF patrollers near Pearly Beach on Thursday.
On Sunday, he said, two of their bodies were discovered on Pearly Beach and Quin Point beach.
The SANDF did not answer questions regarding whether any arrests were made.
Msweli said no one was being held accountable for the deaths.
“For how long should we fold our arms and watch our people disappearing and yet (the perpetrators) are never arrested or prosecuted for their actions.
“We have often appealed to the police stations to do their work, but I guess because we don’t hold positions of power our voices will not be heard.
"We want answers from the police or SANDF to tell us exactly how the other two poachers died if they were last seen with SANDF officials.
“As a community, we are fed up. They (SANDF members) handle these matters in a very brutal manner, not even considering the consequences.
"They must protect us and yes if wrong is done by us, we must be arrested not killed at the hands of people who are supposed to protect us,” Msweli said.
A brother of one of the deceased men, Makhosandile Mxhaka said: “I just accepted that my brother is no more even though his death is still questionable.
"I was called to come and identify the bodies on Sunday at a nearby mortuary.
"I just did not want to ask many questions because I know that like many other cases, there will be no answers.
“Now, I have to pay for the funeral of my brother. I have no one to assist me because my brother had no funeral policy.”
SANDF spokesperson Thabo Sello said: “On the day of the discovery of the bodies our members were not operating in the area due to bad weather.
"We cannot give information on what happened on Thursday because we don’t know.”
He referred further queries to police.
Gansbaai Station Commander Dudley Coetzee said police were investigating the circumstances and cause of death after one body washed up on Pearly Beach.
“The Gansbaai SAPS office doesn’t have any records of any dumped bodies. This office can confirm that on Sunday at about 1.30pm we received a complaint of the body of a drowned person that was washed out by the sea at Pearly Beach.
“On the members’ arrival they found the lifeless body of an unknown male in a diving suit. No missing persons were reported at the Gansbaai SAPS office,” said Coetzee.