Vulindlela violence: 60 to spend week in jail

2011-09-14 00:00

SIXTY men and women who were allegedly involved in a violent public protest in ward 5 in the Vulindlela area on Monday made a brief court appearance yesterday and were remanded in custody for seven days while police study video footage of the protest.

Charges against three juveniles were withdrawn.

The accused are facing charges of using burning tyres, tree trunks rocks as well as a bulldozer to blockade Bulwer Road in Gezubuso and kwaMnyandu areas on Monday.

Two residents, Paul Ndlovu and Mzikawukho Mthembu, were allegedly assaulted with bricks and stones.

A large crowd gathered in Market Square ahead of the appearance, toyi-toyiing and voicing their support for the accused. Some dropped their pants in protest.

A large police contingent was present in and outside the court. The public were not allowed inside.

Monday’s protest was against ward councillor Bonga Shozi and his ward committee.

A protester said, “They must release them and arrest Bonga Shozi, because he is the one that is committing crime in the area for not servicing the community.”

State prosecutor Rene Padayachee asked the court to remand the group in custody for seven days because the state wants time to view the video footage and conduct a photo identification parade. Padayachee said the state may add more charges against the accused and has enough evidence to prosecute them.

Defence attorney Sbani Nzimande said some of the people were arrested while driving their cars while others were in their homes and not part of the protest.

Magistrate Reard Abrahams granted the request for a seven-day remand. The accused will be back in court on September 20.

mlondi.radebe@witness.co.za

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