Further unrest has been averted after community leaders in Kayamandi township in Stellenbosch had threatened "to fight to the death" and resist moving from land occupied illegally, but a peace agreement between role-players has becalmed matters.
Kayamandi residents had marched to the Stellenbosch Magistrate's Court en masse on Wednesday to secure the release of community leader Midas Manana, who was arrested for public violence. They sought his immediate release, with some placards proclaiming "Return our land".
Wanana, regarded to be one of the ringleaders behind the building of shacks on private land in the area, was freed on a warning by the court, Die Burger reported. Nine other people were arrested, but have since been released.
Thanks to consultation between the Stellenbosch municipality, the police, the sheriff, community leaders and representatives of the SA Human Rights Commission, Kayamandi residents agreed to not to erect more shacks on private land. There will be more talks next week.
The Western Cape High Court granted an urgent interdict to a wine farmer on Saturday evening to remove unoccupied shacks from his property. On Monday, protesters went on a rampage in the Stellenbosch CBD and looted shops after the Red Ants dismantled shacks of people who had left for work.