The Congress of South African Trade Unions, (Cosatu) has called for demonstrations in favour of settlers living in illegally-built shacks along a part of Hout Bay about 20 km south of Cape Town. The city's police were ordered to control the demolition of shacks in mid September built on a piece of land that functions as a firebreak between Hangberg and Sentinel Hill. Clashes turned violent when settlers set fire to the hillside and blocked access roads in order to protect thier homes.
Cosatu, which has close ties to the African National Congress party (ANC), is accusing the police of brutality after several of the residents from the shacks sustained injuries from rubber bullets. The South African Human rights commission has condemned the violence and the South African Communist Party has asked President Zuma to set up a commission to look into the violence.
Cape Town and Western Cape provincial authorities, in the hands of the Democratic Alliance, have reported that several police were injured in the demonstrations. About 50 people were arrested after the disorders, although charges against 40 have now been dropped.
The city of Cape Town and the South Africa national parks authorities, which owns part of the land, have now applied for a court order for the eviction of inhabitants from the remaining shacks. The ones previously demolished in September were not inhabited.
Hout Bay, a tourist attraction about 20 kms drive south of Cape Town