Arrest of alleged KZN land invaders sparks violent protests

Protesters allegedly set alight a truck on the N3 in the Howick area. Photo: @TrafficSA

Protesters allegedly set alight a truck on the N3 in the Howick area. Photo: @TrafficSA

Police say the protesters allegedly fired shots at the police and also set a truck alight on the N3.

Protests broke out on Thursday night in the Howick area, KwaZulu-Natal, leading to the closure of the N3 in the area and heavy queuing traffic.

According to reports, protesters threw stones at cars and allegedly set a truck alight.

KZN SAPS spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said the protest action stemmed from the arrest of nine people suspected of invading private property in the area.

“It is alleged that yesterday at 6 pm, a group of community members invaded private property at Howick. A total of nine suspects were arrested for trespassing.

“After the arrest of the suspects, members of the community embarked on a protest and blockaded the R617 Road and N3 northbound with burning tyres and logs.”

The protesters allegedly fired shots at the police and also set alight a truck on the N3, Gwala added.

“They also threw stones at police and motorists.”

Gwala said though there were reports of vehicles being damaged, no one came forward to open a case.

The police used rubber bullets to disperse “the unruly crowd”, Gwala said, and suspects aged between 24 and 55 were arrested in connection with the protests and police opened a case of public violence at Howick SAPS.

The suspects are expected to appear at the Howick Magistrates Court on Friday, she concluded.

“The situation is quiet today and police are monitoring the area.”

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