Jacqueline Herbst
2 minute read
7 Mar 2016
12:20 pm

VIDEO: KZN residents torch factory, cars in violent protest

Jacqueline Herbst

The protesters are apparently concerned about renomination of the former mayor for the upcoming elections.

More buildings and cars are being set alight during violent protest in Isithebe, KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: North Coast Courier

Residents in KwaZulu-Natal have taken to the streets burning tyres, stoning buildings and blocking main roads during a violent protest this morning.

The video shows firefighters trying to extinguish the blaze which engulfed the Mandeni recycling factory.

It is alleged an unknown number of cars have also been set alight.

Provincial police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said the community members started protesting late yesterday, apparently complaining about the renomination of the former mayor for the upcoming elections.

A local businessman, Riaz Shaik, was barred from getting to his business premises in Green Street where protesters had dragged two trailers across the road and set them alight, North Coast Courier reported.

“Police could not do anything and the fire brigade could not get in to put out the fire,” added Shaik.

Mandeni Business Against Crime’s Steve Fox said residents were still protesting for the same reason as last week – they were unhappy with two newly appointed indunas, elected by the chief.

He said he was concerned police were no longer empowered to handle protests.

Fox said protesters were trying to enter factory premises to make workers come outside, and they had also tried to force entry into a warehouse that he believed they wanted to loot.

Fox said the protesters wanted to be involved in the induna selection process and were unhappy with the feedback from the chief at a community meeting yesterday afternoon.

“Vehicles and properties have been burned and about 50 suspects have been arrested for public violence,” added Zwane.

In a separate incident, a number of government facilities including a community hall, fire departments, a clinic and municipal offices were burnt down during continuing service delivery protests throughout the nation which began on January 6 in Waterval Boven, Mpumalnaga.

A total of 11 people were arrested during the protest.

Provincial police spokesperson Sergeant Gerald Sedibe said a murder case was also opened following the death of a 21-year-old man who was apparently shot by members of the South African Police Services during the strike.

– Caxton News Service