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By Kyle Zeeman

Deputy Digital Editor

WATCH: 2 firearms seized, 7 arrested in Sea Point clashes

Public order policing were called in, with officers carrying shields and forming barriers. They used stun grenades and water cannons.

Sea Point Promenade in Cape Town was hit by a wave of chaos on Sunday afternoon amid violent clashes at a Pro-Palestine march.

According to those on the ground, there was a pro-Israeli gathering in the area that was joined by pro-Palestine protestors. As the two sides met, tensions grew and violence ensued. Israeli flags and symbols were seen being damaged by protestors.

Both groups were showing their support in the ongoing conflict in Gaza that, according to the Hamas-run health ministry, has killed over 11,000 people, left thousands more injured, and millions displaced.

Public order policing was called to the promenade, with officers carrying shields and forming barriers. They used stun grenades and water cannons.

One protestor claimed another was “beaten by police”. This has not been independently verified.

Two firearms were seized and seven people were arrested. Police have not yet responded to The Citizen‘s request for comment.

ALSO READ: ‘Waving Palestinian flag neither antisemitic nor support for Hamas’ – Madonsela [VIDEO]

Videos of the police firing at protestors were shared online.

Mayor condemns violence

Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis responded, saying he was proud of how the city’s residents had often shown restraint and a commitment to allow others to express themselves, but condemned Sunday’s incident.

“Unfortunately, we saw violent disruptions today against a planned peaceful prayer gathering in support of Israel. This violence deserves the condemnation of all Capetonians who value free expression in our open democracy.

“While residents or groups may disagree vehemently with one another, they may not engage in violent disruption. We call on all residents to desist from doing so. Every person or group, of every belief and persuasion, has the right to protest peacefully in South Africa. That right is Constitutionally protected, and for good reason, because in South Africa’s past certain protests were banned or violently suppressed, and opinions censored.

“In the same way that tens of thousands of residents gathered yesterday to protest peacefully, so the planned protest today should have been respected and allowed to proceed peacefully and without interference.”

He said police and law enforcement should protect that right.

“Public Order policing is under the authority of the South African Police Service and they are in command when public disorder incidents take place.”

‘Hands off Naledi Pandor’- Fikile Mbalula.

Just hours before the incident on Sea Point Promenade, ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula joined a pro-Palestine march in the city.

He called for an immediate ceasefire and the resumption of peaceful negotiations in Gaza. He also hit out at critics of International Relations and Co-operation Minister Naledi Pandor, claiming she has the ruling party’s full backing.

Pandor came under fire for a recent phone call with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, Mbalula said the ANC was in Pandor‘s corner.

“Our party supports Naledi Pandor and says hands off Naledi Pandor. A two-state solution is our position and that is what we are about as the ANC,” he said.

ALSO READ: Israel’s Netanyahu should be arrested for ‘murder of women and children’ – Pandor

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