Johannesburg - Forty-one people were arrested for public
violence and arson after a community hall in Mandlazini, Richards Bay, was
torched on Tuesday, KwaZulu-Natal police said.
"At approximately 03:00, at Mandlazini, a group of
approximately 300 people blockaded the road in a service delivery
protest," police spokesperson Thulani Zwane said.
People dispersed, returned to the community hall and set
it on fire. The 41 arrested were aged between 15 and 63 and would appear in the
Richards Bay Magistrate's Court on Thursday.
The situation was under control.
"The political party they belong to is unknown at
this stage," Zwane said.
ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala
claimed those arrested were Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members.
"Ten people were arrested while on their way to
torch another voting station in KwaMbonambi outside Richards Bay," he
EFF provincial spokesperson Phillip Mhlongo directed
queries about what happened in Mandlazini to a regional spokesperson, who was
not immediately available for comment.
Mhlongo said the ANC was doing its utmost to discredit
"All of us are aware and mindful of the fact the EFF
has been calling for a peaceful transition of the emancipation of our
people," Mhlongo said.
Zikalala said the EFF had revealed it did not shy away
from violence and sabotage in pursuit of its political agenda.
Right to vote
The ruling party called on law enforcement agencies to
act swiftly to avert any violence which may threaten citizens exercising their
right to vote.
"The ANC considers people's right to choose their
government as sacrosanct, inalienable and worth safeguarding at all cost,"
"The right to vote is the culmination of our
people's struggle and it is written in the blood of many heroes of our
liberation movement, hence no one can be allowed interfere with this
Mhlongo said the ANC understood it was on the back foot,
trying to pin violence on the EFF and scare voters.
"This is what they are trying to do. I know for a
fact that none of our comrades dare threaten ANC members. I speak from my own
experience," Mhlongo said.
"They are aware that Julius Malema and EFF are
threatening the entire status quo, where the ANC has been lying to the people
of the country. No EFF activist or member can go stone the property of the community."
He said the ANC was trying to marginalise the EFF.
"They are trying to cover up their own corrupt
core," Mhlongo said.Download the app by visiting one of these app stores.