Chili release triggers Richmond protest

2017-04-27 12:04
Police keep a close watch over protesters gathering in Richmond on Weednesday

Police keep a close watch over protesters gathering in Richmond on Weednesday (Ian Carbutt)

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There was an uproar in Richmond on Wednesday over the release of Samukelo Chili, the man initially arrested in connection with the murder of the town’s deputy mayor.

This was just one of the many grievances the community had with local authorities — others being the “purification” of the Richmond Municipality and the outsourcing of contracts to out-of-town companies.

During the early hours of Wednesday morning, a small group of protesters blocked the roads into the Ndaleni area just outside the Richmond CBD with concrete slabs, burning tyres and rocks.

It is believed the group blocked the road before disappearing into the township.

Police arrived shortly afterwards to clear the path.

A group of about 150 people from Ndaleni again gathered in the town around midday.

The group held a peaceful march to court, under the close watch of Public Order Policing (POP) officers. They handed over a memorandum with their demands to a senior court official before dispersing.

All charges have been withdrawn against Chili (34), who was initially arrested in connection with the murder of Richmond’s deputy mayor, Thandazile Phoswa.

Chili was not charged with Phoswa’s murder but only with failure to safeguard a firearm, due to lack of evidence implicating him in any crimes.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane said no damage or injuries were reported in Wednesday’s protest.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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