Violence follows electricity disconnections

2013-08-14 00:00

MSUNDUZI Municipality security officials were involved in yet another running battle with residents in Nhlalakahle informal settlement yesterday when they arrived with a municipal disconnection team to disconnect illegal electricity connections.

Residents said two vehicles full of security officials arrived at the settlement yesterday, together with the municipality’s disconnection team.

They claimed the security officials intimidated residents.

“It was all blue [uniforms] in the settlement, as they chased us all the way to the top of the settlement with the sound of gunfire,” said one of the residents, who refused to be named.

“This is now war,” said another resident. “Today they were looking for all the men who live here and they were saying there would be a [dead] body by the time they are done.

“This is the fourth time they are here to do disconnections. Each time we have never bothered them, because we know that this is their job. But today, they decided that they should chase all the men out of the settlement, so that they could go in and remove all the wiring.”

Another man said he had to hide under piece of plastic in someone else’s yard, as the officials were chasing them down.

“It was by the mercy of God that they did not find me. I still cannot imagine what would have happened if they had caught me there.”

Inside the settlement, there were marked wires where the cables running on the ground used to be and at least one door partially off its hinges. A resident said it was kicked in by the security officials.

On the road, burnt rubble was used to blockade the road.

Ward councillor Rooksana Ahmed directed all queries to municipal spokesperson Brian Zuma.

She, however, confirmed that violence erupted in the area following the disconnections.

Attempts to contact Zuma were unsuccessful.

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