KwaZulu-Natal provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni has condemned violent protests at Kwa Sithebe, Mandeni, which resulted in factories and vehicles being set alight early today.
This after the residents burnt tyres, stoned buildings and blocking main roads during a violent protest, North Coast Courier reported.
Ngobeni said: “Violence during protest action will not be tolerated. The police have a responsibility to protect property and lives during these violent protests. Members of the community are warned that we will execute our constitutional mandate and perpetrators of such violent protests will be arrested and prosecuted.”
She added the residents embarked on a protest action which started yesterday. The protests turned violent today when four factories, a truck, two vehicles and five containers were set alight. Police vehicles were also damaged by the protesters. Eight computers were also taken at one of the factory offices and two were later recovered.
“A total of 120 suspects were arrested and cases of public violence, arson and malicious damage to property were opened for investigation. More arrests are expected as police are still monitoring and diffusing the crowd. More manpower has been deployed to take control of the situation,” added Ngobeni.
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.
VIDEO: KZN residents torch factory, cars in violent protest
– Caxton News Service