Durick van Blerk's Girlfriend Cleo Adonis, 22, and Durick’s dad Edward van Blerk want answers. Picture: Monique Duval/Daily Voice

Cape Town - The community of Hangberg in Hout Bay is rallying around the family of missing fisherman Durick van Blerk.

Members of the community have been posting on social media about the conditions they are forced to live under, and challenging the notion that those who struggle to eke out a living there are poachers. 

"We are not poachers!" one community member posted in a closed Facebook group. 

"I was raised from the sea, where my father put his life at risk for my family and I. For my future, for our children and the generations to come. If he wasn't man enough to go to sea and provide to us, who was going to provide for us?"

Van Blerk disappeared in the early hours of Saturday morning while out fishing with two colleagues. It's believed he was shot in an altercation with authorities and fell overboard. 

The police search continues. 

Community activist and chairperson of the Hout Bay Civic Association Roscoe Jacobs said the family of the missing fisherman had called for calm. 

Hout Bay has been rocked by violent protests since Sunday, and its believed the Hout Bay Market was looted on Monday night. 

Jacobs posted on Facebook late on Monday night: "As a community worker, Activist and leader I call on resident of Hout Bay to respect the family of Durick Van Blerk in their hour of despair. The priority for us now is to support the family who wants their son to be found. Durick's wife is carrying his child and this unrest is not healthy for her and his unborn child.

"THE CALL FOR THE CLOSURE OF HOUT BAY IS NOT SUPPORTED BY DURICK'S FAMILY NOR THE COMMUNITY. The family has communicated that IPID is investigating the incident and have asked for space and time for this to take place, so that justice can prevail.

"If people from outside Hout Bay come and assist us they must not come here with the intention of closing the Hout Bay as this will prevent the continuation of the search for Durick. They must not come here to speak for us as we are capable of speaking for ourselves.

"The appeal is for calm and peace from the family, so if you are joining the family on the Harbour let us all respect and support their request this is not about us but about Durick being found," Jacobs said. 

Other residents and family members have also posted about Van Blerk.

"Missing your million dollar presence already," posted Jani-lé Jena Boonzaaier.

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Cape Times