Zwelihle Protests Claims The Innocent Life Of A Two-Week-Old Baby

Hermanus authorities have not been able to quell the protests that have plagued Zwelihle for the past two weeks. The one thing we have all feared for has happened. A two-week-old baby, Anothando, has become a casualty of this unrest.

Who is spearheading the Zwelihle violent protests

A disgruntled group of the Zwelihle community is rumoured to be spearheading these protests. It seems that the group demands that their community leader, Gcobani Ndzongana, be released from imprisonment immediately.

Ndzongana is one of over 49 protesters who has been arrested and charged with incitement. The community leader is expected to appear in the Hermanus Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

The authorities’ failure to end the violent protests

Helen Zille, the Western Cape’s Premier, has tried to step in and bring calm to the situation but she was pelted with stones. The police have also tried to manage the crowds by using rubber bullets and tear gas without any success.

Instead, an innocent newborn baby has died after inhaling the tear gas that was used to disperse the protesters.

What happened to Anothando Kapiyane?

Vuyiswa Kapiyane, the mother of Anothando, was still getting used to her two-week-old baby when this tragedy struck her neighbourhood. As difficult as it was to recount the events that led to her child’s death, Kapiyane stated that

“on Friday, Anothando inhaled tear gas, so we took her to the hospital at 04:00.”

She confirmed that her child died in hospital later that day. Both of her parents are unemployed and it will be difficult to cover Anothando’s funeral.

Zwelihle community reacts to the news of Anothando’s death

The Zwelihle community reacted to the news of the child’s death by donating an estimated amount of R5,000 towards her funeral. Sicelo Gxamesi, the leader of a community organisation called Zwelihle Renewal, diverted accountability away from the protesters. He added that

“we are not taking responsibility for what happened, but we are visiting the families because we see how bad it is.”

The SAPS has since come out to state that, on the case of Anothando’s death, no charges have been laid.


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