The case against the 11 people arrested in Wednesday’s fuel prices must fall blockade was withdrawn in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday morning, Maritzburg Sun reports.
Attorney Reshen Pillay from Anand Pillay and Associates said the case was not enrolled due to insufficient evidence and as a result was withdrawn.
Senzo Zondi, Alvin Naidoo, Shiraaz Mahomed, Roshan Singh, Sudheer Sarupen, Ryan Paul, Jayson Maharaj, Ronesh Sukilal, Else Knott, Sthembiso Maphumulo and Mr B Khumalo, who spent the night at the Loop Street police station, were waiting to be released from court holding cells yesterday.
The protest action planned by the Fuel Prices Must Fall group, who blockaded the N3 in Pietermaritzburg and other major roads in KZN on Wednesday morning brought traffic to a standstill and effectively shut down the N3 from New England Road through to Hilton. The Fuel Prices Must Fall civil action group said they were demanding the decrease in the fuel price from R16.02 to R10. This resulted in the city’s CBD being gridlocked on Wednesday morning.
Police issued a statement on Wednesday’s protest, saying the acting provincial commissioner for KwaZulu-Natal Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi has condemned the illegal blocking of the N3 that inconvenienced thousands of motorists in the province.
“There will be no negotiations with those who break the law. People found blocking our roads will be immediately arrested and detained. Vehicles used to block our roads will be towed and impounded. Those found gathering illegally will be dispersed by minimum force with maximum restraint that is necessary. We advise those that intend to demonstrate, to do so within the parameters of the law,” he said.
Police have called on those who intend to hold any gathering to familiarise themselves with the relevant legislation and ensure that they follow the necessary processes to guarantee that their activities are legal.
“If the organisers of such demonstrations follow due processes, proper planning can be done and the citizens of this province can be informed in advance of possible disruptions to their routines. Illegal gatherings and road blocking inconveniences everyone as a few individuals infringe on the rights and freedoms of thousands.
“No matter how legitimate your concerns may be, we will not allow any person to break the law. We have displayed this in various parts of the province where roads were blocked,” added Lieutenant General Mkhwanazi.