Willowfontein protesters released

2016-09-28 06:00

THE people arrested in connection with public violence in Willowfontein were released on warning to appear in court on 7 October.

The 20 were arrested on 9 September following a water protest in the area where they barricaded the road with burning tyres and rocks.

During the protest Skhumbuzo Soni (10), was seriously injured after being shot in the mouth by police who were firing rubber bullets to disperse a crowd.

The 20 people appeared before the
Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday and 19 were released on warning, while one received R500 bail.

The state said it was not opposed to the suspects being granted bail as they were not a threat to anybody. Magistrate M. Boikhutso, however, refused to release
Jabulani Mkhize, who is accused three in the matter, on warning.

This after it emerged that Mkhize currently had another pending case against him. The suspects, who were appearing in court for the second time, were released on condition they do not gather unlawfully or obstruct peace in the community.

Other supporters who packed the public gallery during the bail hearing had to be asked to leave as it was full and no persons were allowed to stand during the court proceedings. A police officer stood guard by the door to make ensure no more people came in.

Magistrate Boikhutso said police were the only witnesses in this case and that as part of the investigation the court was still waiting for video footage taken on the day of the protest.

The case was adjourned for further investigation. Residents in Willowfontein say they have not had water for over six months.

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