Truck kills four at protest

2011-03-29 00:00

FOUR women were killed and a man critically injured when they were run over by a truck during a service delivery protest in St Chad’s just outside Ladysmith yesterday morning.

Two of the dead women belonged to the same family.

The injured man was taken to Ladysmith’s provincial hospital.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Phindile Radebe said they have no details on the accident and no one was arrested. A case of culpable homicide is under investigation.

Eye witnesses at the gathering said residents were protesting against a lack of houses, roads and electricity in the area.

They were blockading the Helpmekaar Road, which links Ladysmith town and the outlying areas of St Chad’s and Ezakheni township, with bricks and boulders.

A family member of two of the deceased women, Kusakusa Mbonane, said the women were Winile (38) and Smangele (40) and between them they leave behind six children.

The families of the other deceased could not be reached.

“We were led by an Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) member, Zama Ndlovu, who is also a councillor candidate in this coming election.

“Strangely he disappeared after the accident happened and we have discovered that he was not authorised by his party to organise this protest.

“There was not a single IFP top official in this protest but because we have done it before we saw no reason no to be part of it as residents. We have done it before as the community for the same reason,” said Mbonane.

Uthukela District municipal Mayor Mqapheli Sithole said the protest was by community members, and not under the banner of the IFP.

The municipality is run by the IFP.

“It is sad that people had to lose their lives in this fashion but the IFP had not sanctioned this protest. Even the officials I have spoken to after hearing of the incident were shocked. They were not aware of the protest,” said Sithole.

Emnambithi/Ladysmith Mayor Dudu Mazibuko said she is disappointed that the IFP claims it had not sanctioned the protest.

“The person is their registered candidate for this election, so if they say they have not sanctioned the protest then they should expel the man from the party.

“The police should hunt him down and bring him back to answer for his irresponsible actions,” said Mazibuko.

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