The City of Mhlathuze in northern KwaZulu-Natal says protests have disrupted the delivery of basic services across the municipality. Videos circulating on social media show protesters using burning tyres to barricade a number of busy roads in Empangeni.
“The City of Mhlathuze municipality would like to inform all community members and business owners around the city especially at Empangeni and Richards Bay and surrounding suburbs also townships such as Esikhaleni and Enseleni that all services rendered by the City of Mhlathuze will slightly be delayed since they are interrupted due to the road blockages around John Ross Highway and many other sites of the city of Mhlathuze. It is believed that a group of protesters is also threatening to burn trucks passing through the town,” says Mhlathuze spokesperson Mduduzi Ncalane.
However in the wake of these violent protests Former President Jacob Zuma’s daughter Dudu Zuma-Sambudla has taken to social media to say the protesters who are burning tyres on a number of busy roads in Empangeni in KwaZulu-Natal are her father’s supporters.
Not only did the protesters burn tyres and blocked roads. The police have since confirmed that a sugar cane plantation in Empangeni has been torched. KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele confirmed the protests.
“There are protests in different parts of KwaZulu-Natal. The more serious one is in Empangeni where sugarcane has been set alight, but the police are there.
“There are signs that roads are closed but when we get there, we found that there are no people there. We are monitoring the situation,” said Mbhele.
In the mix of things, the police have since arrested thirteen people. Police Minister Bheki Cele says,
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“14 trucks were blocked here. Some groups of people were moving around. He’s taking the keys off both of those trucks. Thirteen of those people have been arrested. Unfortunately, there are two young ladies amongst them. From them, we found the keys of the trucks so they are part of that, so those people that are doing that, we want to expand our approach to them.”