Cape Town – A Uniondale farmer allegedly opened fire on protesters, leaving three of them wounded on Monday.
Police spokesperson Malcolm Potjie said: “Emanating from the protest action, the farmer, his wife and child were on their way into town when they were blockaded by protesters.
“The farmer discharged his shotgun on protesters. According to police reports, three people were hit but at this stage we do not have confirmation.”
Charges of attempted murder and discharging a firearm in a municipal area were under investigation, Pojie said.
Six people were also arrested for public violence and public order police from George remained on scene to monitor and stabilise the situation, he said.
The protest over the downgrading of the local fire station among other issues saw a number of police vehicles damaged and a truck looted and torched.
The N9 and the R399 were also closed and drivers were rerouted via the R62.
ANC ward councillor Jacques Esau said: “On Sunday, a man was burnt to death when a fire destroyed at least seven structures in an informal settlement. This is the third fatality in that camp. About two years ago, a father and his young daughter also burnt to death in another fire. We were protesting about this and other grievances when the farmer shot at our people. We know this farmer as a short-tempered man.”
Esau said residents also refused to hand over their memorandum of demands to George deputy mayor Charlotte Clarke, and told her they wanted to see mayor Mike Naik instead.
Naik confirmed that no memorandum had been received and the protest had not been resolved.
“The current protest situation in Uniondale has not been resolved with the access roads into Uniondale remaining blocked to traffic.
"I’m aware that this started early this morning (Monday) allegedly following a fire in an informal settlement yesterday (Sunday) that claimed the life of one person, however we have no confirmation if this is the actual reason for the protest as our records indicate that the fire department responded within three minutes. Deputy mayor Clarke visited the area.”