KwaZulu-Natal protest quelled

2012-02-25 21:17

Johannesburg - A violent protest by about 1 500 people at a hostel in Umlazi has been quelled, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Saturday.

Colonel Jay Naicker said several shots were fired, two people were wounded and shops were looted during the protests on Friday night and Saturday morning.

"On Friday night at about 20:30 a group of about 1 500 people marched on the road at T-section, Umlazi. As they marched they allegedly fired shots in the air and as a result two people were shot and wounded whilst one person was assaulted," he said.

Police dispersed the gathering, which later regrouped on Saturday.

"This morning at 04:00 about 600 people gathered at the hostel and allegedly looted houses in the hostel. Two tuck shops were set alight and residents were robbed of their groceries and cash.

"The windows and furniture in many of the houses were damaged. Looters removed mattresses from these houses and set them alight," Naicker said.

Members of the public order policing unit responded and the crowd dispersed.

"Police management are currently working together with community leaders to establish the source of the violence that erupted so that the communities concerns can be addressed and peace can be restored to the area," he said.

Umlazi police are investigating cases of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, attempted murder, malicious damage to property and public violence.

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