Isithebe tensions mount with standoff between police, protesters

2016-03-09 19:21
(Jeff Wicks, News24)

(Jeff Wicks, News24)

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Isithebe - Police and security personnel stand poised for a showdown with a mob of protesters as night falls on Isithebe on Wednesday.

The industrial complex, flanked by informal settlements, is gripped by a sense of foreboding.

This follows days of violent unrest in the Northern KwaZulu-Natal hamlet, with factories and fleets of vehicles torched.

At dusk on Wednesday there was a tense standoff on Red Street between police and irate members of the community.

The mob, amassed on a hilltop across a mall gully, jeered as officers and security personnel worked to move debris they had used just moments earlier to barricade the road.

They chanted, "Pusha! Pusha!" as the policemen rolled a large section of concrete pipe from the road into a field.

As officers withdrew, the mob advanced, staying carefully out of range of rubber bullets.

A police officer, who requested anonymity, said that the mob was expected to target a clinic overnight.

"Things are going to get dangerous. They want to burn the clinic down," he said.  

This is a developing story. More to follow.

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