We had thought we might go for breakfast or brunch to the Hout Bay Harbour Market today to mark the end of my four day break, but when I woke up this morning my wrist and joints were sore from yesterday’s tent excursion and drumming and as it was gloomy outside we decided to stay in and hibernate.
I ordered some wood to be delivered next week and played games and chatted online from the comfort of my bed and snuggled with the animals.
Winter is the only time the cats are friends. Even then, we caught Blue attacking Lola like a vampire yesterday, biting her neck ferociously.
Norm and I eventually emerged from our warm beds about 11.30 and Norm made us gorgeous French toast with maple syrup.
It was crispy and perfect. I’m a lucky woman.
Then I was sitting outside on the patio drinking a large cup of tea and looking at the misty mountain while Navajo had a run round the garden, as one does on a Sunday.
Then the Neighbourhood Watch radio burst into life and we saw on social media and via WhatsApp that there was a protest happening at the Harbour.
The road to the Market was blocked off and filled with burning tires.
We heard that they set the buildings at the market on fire and I was so relieved that the Universe protected me from being there. I read that they also torched the Department of Public Works store, two harbour master offices, one fisheries inspector’s house and another government official’s house.
We listened on the radio and followed via social media and WhatsApp and heard that the march had then diverted out of the Harbour and towards the village, up Empire Road, through Beach Estate heading towards the police (SAPS) station. Then we heard many sirens coming down from the Nek and into town. The Public Order Police (POP) were dispatched as were the fire department.
The protestors fired off many rescue flares and also set a house in Beach Estate on fire. They vandalized property all along their path.
Eventually the protestors were met with force by POP and rubber bullets finally stopped the madness.
I’ve heard several stories which are being claimed as motivations for the protest. I read that there was a police raid on the poachers and this resulted in the death of one of the poachers. Then we heard that a single diver had gone missing late Friday while diving off the Chapmans Peak side of the bay. Yesterday there were rescue helicopters and NSRI boats out searching but they did not find the missing diver. Then they said the protest was against the police not allowing them to search for the body.
The stories vary on whether the poacher was shot or drowned. We saw this posted online.
Finally we saw that the press had reported a few articles on the protest. “Residents of the harbour community claim that the protests erupted following the death of a young fisherman who was allegedly shot dead by a policeman on Saturday. The incident stemmed from an alleged poaching incident.” Another article said the boat hadn’t returned and the police wouldn’t search, an another said that the police shot at the boat.
So possibly the police raided a group of poachers and one of them died in the process.
The poachers in this area generally poach abalone or lobsters. There are quotas on the limits to fishermen but these limits are ignored by poachers. The poachers claim that the tight quotas mean they cannot survive if they adhere to them. Here is a good article about it. Far be it for me to sit in judgment from here in my big house sitting by my warm fire, resting up before I go back to my corporate job. I just don’t see the point of punishing people who are not responsible. What did the Market owners and traders do to deserve this?
We must not lose sight of the fact that a mother lost a son, people lost a friend. Whether what he was doing was right or wrong, a young man died.
We also saw on social media that a car had burned on the road out of Hout Bay late Friday night. The story on this is a bit vague too.
The reports are that the car was abandoned. Maybe it was torched. Maybe the driver crashed it and ran. Who knows.
There is never a dull moment in Hout Bay.
We heard again of another friend who is emigrating. The list grows. Meanwhile in my typically backwards manner we are fighting for the right to stay, with Norm jumping through hoops to get his residency permit.
I daydream of having my kids, my Mom, and all of our friends and family all living on a big compound together somewhere isolated from the rest of the world. As long as it has my family, WiFi, peanut butter and Netflix I’d be happy. 😂🤷🏻♀️
Tonight we are staying in rather than deal with any possible dramas. Why put our beak into something that has nought to do with us. We are wrapped up and trying to keep warm. The dogs are being annoying because it is too wet to walk them.
I am back to work tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll have a non-eventful drive to work. Wish me luck.
Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox