Man beaten, stabbed in rubbish pickers’ altercation at landfill site

2013-09-02 00:00

THE situation remains tense at the Lincoln Meade landfill site after a “bloody fight” involving those scavenging the dumpsite.

Fighting broke out last Monday, and intensified on Friday, between people collecting recyclable material at the site, according to council workers who feared that if this was not addressed then their lives might also be in danger.

Jabulile Mbatha, a member of the landfill committee, said they have been working there for years without a problem, until last Monday.

Mbatha said ethnic tension has increased at the dump site amongst Zulu and Sotho people. They have previously always worked together as a group, she said.

The fight broke out after someone had allegedly stolen recycling material belonging to another person.

“Then there was a confrontation where people ended up hurting each other on Monday.”

Mbatha said this continued yesterday until municipal security personnel intervened.

When The Witness arrived on the scene after being alerted to the incident, Tebogo Masiya was already in an ambulance about to be taken to Northdale Hospital after he had been beaten and stabbed with a bottle.

Mbatha warned that if the conflict continued the municipality would be forced to chase them away. “We don’t want that to happen because this is our livelihood and we need everybody who collects recycling material here to understand that.”

Kwenza Khumalo, senior manager at the Msunduzi Municipality, said they had been informed by their security staff of the incidents and they will address the matter.

“We will intensify our security to ensure that they are able to liaise with the police to stabilise the situation because these people are helping the municipality to maximise the lifespan of the landfill site,” said Khumalo.

He said they were looking at various avenues to formalise the work done by the people collecting waste at their landfill as they are an informal business. “We were also looking at installing CCTV cameras as an option,” he said.

Khumalo added that they still needed to come up with a plan that will create a “win-win situation”.

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