Vulindlela: police arrest 65 Ward 5 protesters for blocking road

2011-09-13 00:00

SIXTY-FIVE people were arrested for public violence in Ward 5 KwaMnyandu and Gezubuso in the Vulindlela area yesterday after they barricaded the Bulwer road with burning tyres to protest against the election of ward committee members there.

The protest comes after the alleged failure of Msunduzi Deputy Mayor Thobani Zuma to report back to the residents. They said it has been three weeks since they complained to the deputy mayor about the election of the ward committee members , but have received no feedback.

A police helicopter flew low over the area and police vehicles were in evidence. About 200 protesters ran for their lives after police aired rubber bullets. Some hid in a nearby forest and houses, but were later arrested.

Angry parents demanded that police release their children.

“When [protesters] are exercising their rights they are arrested, but when there is a problem in the area police are nowhere to be found. We want them to release our children …” said one parent.

A resident, Khumbulani Xaba, said he was angered by the blocking of the road. He had to walk more than 15 km in the early hours of yesterday morning while returning from work, he said, because the taxi he was travelling in was blocked from entering KwaMnyandu where he stays.

Ward councillor Bonga Lushozi said he explained to residents in his ward about the elections of ward committees and that there had been no objections.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Brain Zuma said the issue of councillors rejected by their communities is a political matter.

“Communities should form forums and write a letter addressed to dispute resolution committee that is led by Robby Mkhize. The committee will report to the office of the speaker about their complaints in their wards.”

Police spokesperson Joey Jeevan said 65 people were arrested and charged with public violence as they had prevented traffic flow on the Bulwer road,They will appear in court shortly.

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