'Communication hiccup': residents not warned about closing of city centre streets

2012-01-21 00:00

THE Msunduzi Municipality failed to alert residents that it would be closing the streets in the Pietermaritzburg city centre for the “Amigos” case, causing last-minute chaos yesterday morning.

It also seemed that there were poor preparations to let supporters of ANC heavyweights Peggy Nkonyeni and Mike Mabuyakhulu, who are among the accused, know that the case was on, resulting in fewer than 1 000 turning up.

Motorists were angry that they were not notified about the road closures that made them late for work.

Heavily armed police officers outnumbered the supporters who gathered in Market square.

Spokesperson for Msunduzi Municipality, Brian Zuma, that admitted: “It may be a communication hiccup from our side as we normally announce to the public that the roads will be closed beforehand.”

Police and paramedics were ready for action, but T-shirt clad supporters didn’t sing, dance or wave placards, simply sitting inthe shade of trees until they were alerted that Nkonyeni was coming out of court.

Provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said they don’t doubt their leaders.

Nkonyeni and Mabuyakhulu, accompanied by ANC regional and provincial secretary Supa Zuma and Zikalala, stopped to thank their supporters.

“At this time we need unity in the alliance, not allowing outside forces to divide us,” said Mabuyakhulu.

• mlondi.radebe@witness.co.za

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