Stellenbosch has been a ghost town tinkering on the verge of anarchy, as only a few kilometres away, in Kayamandi, police have thus far prevented protesters from entering the town’s business district.
Watch: Police clash with Kayamandi settlers
According to reports from Times Live reporter Aron Hyman, a group of protesters claiming to be from a movement called ‘Jozi to Stellenbosch’ descended into the Boland township on Wednesday morning to cause unrest.
Led by a man only known as Mangaliso Sambo, the protesters planned to embark on the protest, departing from Kayamandi.
However, they were met by resistance from public order police who have been engaged in a full-front confrontation with the group since Wednesday morning.
What are Stellenbosch protesters demanding?
Faced with the possibility of being kept out of the Stellenbosch CBD by a team of well coordinated officers, the protesters even went as far as attempting to pull the wool over authorities’ heads, claiming that they had abandoned their picket and they wanted to head out ‘to the shops’ in groups.
Of course, officers were not swayed and another raging battle of stone-throwing and gas bombings erupted.
There is no clear objective behind the protests, or at least none that we could gather from the stellar work done by Hyman in documenting the protests.
From what we understand, the group is not from Kayamandi. It’s believed they are from Johannesburg and they came to Stellenbosch to ‘unsettle white privilege’.
There were mentions of the usual “we want our land back from the whites,” but it was not the definitive subject of the protests.
Here is one of the protest leaders speaking to Hyman about the real reason protesters want to take their picketing to the leafy side of town.
At the time of publishing this article, things had not simmered down in Kayamandi.
We will keep a close watch on this for further developments.