KZN strikers arrested

2011-08-24 13:03

At least 58 municipal strikers have been arrested in KwaZulu-Natal this week on charges including malicious damage to property, intimidation and public violence.

Lieutenant-Colonel Vincent Mdunge said 43 strikers were arrested in Richards Bay on Monday, 13 in Pinetown and two in Durban.

“(In the Durban CBD), the strikers displayed signs of an imminent looting. Two people were arrested for removing and breaking municipality refuse bins which is tantamount to lawlessness,” Mdunge said.

Police officers are currently guarding the power stations in Pietermaritzburg after reports of deliberate and illegal power cutting by strikers, which has posed serious threats to hospitals in the area.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson, Brian Zuma, said service delivery has been adversely affected.“We have not been able to collect waste.

We are using private contractors to respond to electricity and water challenges. Intimidation of contractors has resulted in us seeking police escort for them to be able to work.

“But we were granted a court interdict for essential services employees to get back to work last week Thursday and for intimidation to stop as well as damage to property,” he said.

According to Zuma, three municipal vehicles and a building have been damaged so far.“Streets were also trashed, but we have removed the trash from the streets.

We will be able to tell after the strike what exactly the cost for damages caused was,” he said.

Meanwhile, residents of the Kwasani Municipality have laid charges of sabotage against the Sisonke District employees after they allegedly tampered with the water supply in the area.

However, municipal manager, Sbu Gwacela told City Press that the situation was normal, with all employees at work.

“There have been no intimidations or damages reported. Yes, there are charges open at our nearest police station of sabotage for alleged tampering with water supply in our area. I will not make any comment on that as this matter is now under investigation by our local police office.”

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