Police halt illegal protest march

2018-07-12 06:01

IN the early hours of yesterday morning, protestors blockaded the road and burnt tyres in the Amagcino area in Amandawe, Scottburgh. The road was cleared by police.

A large group gathered, singing and toyi-toying, while smaller pockets of people from KwaCele, Amahlongwa, and neighbouring areas joined them, swelling the gathering to more than a thousand people. They were due to march from Amandawe to Scottburgh, where they planned to hand over a memorandum to the mayor of the Umdoni Municipality. Initially there were no incidents of violence and there was a very strong police presence in the area throughout the day.

Matters took a nasty turn when protestors who joined the march started arming themselves with dangerous weapons. Intelligence was received that some of the protestors were also armed with firearms. The convener who made the formal application for the authority to march informed authorities that he was withdrawing as convener as the protestors were conducting themselves contrary to their agreement to stage a peaceful march.

When the protestors refused to disarm themselves, and became violent, police responded and brought them under control. Police refused to allow them to proceed further and they were informed that, as per their agreement, the authority to march was being revoked as they were burning tyres and carrying dangerous weapons and that the march was considered an illegal march from that point onwards.

Fourteen women and eleven men were arrested and detained — they face charges of public violence. The protestors gradually began dispersing, leaving behind approximately 30 people who began digging up the tar in the road. As they were dispersed, they regrouped at different spots. Police are still maintaining a strong presence in the area and are monitoring the situation. — Supplied.

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