Eight held for protest violence in Durban

2012-03-05 19:08

Durban - Eight men have been arrested for political violence in Umlazi south of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Monday.

"The suspects aged between 25 and 45-years-old were arrested on Sunday," Colonel Jay Naicker said.
Another 22 men were out on R500 bail for the violent protests.

Naicker said the men faced charges of malicious damage to property and intimidation.

The protests erupted in Umlazi on February 24 with shops looted and people injured as hundreds marched in Umlazi's T-Section.

Cars, houses damaged

Two people died in the violence - Nicholas Ngcobo was shot dead and Margaret Mthethwa had a heart attack when she saw her neighbour's house torched.

Scores of cars and houses were damaged in the violence.

Political leaders, including New Freedom Party (NFP) leader Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi, Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) president Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the Democratic Alliance's (DA) Sizwe Mchunu and African National Congress (ANC) provincial chairperson Zweli Mkhize, condemned the violence.

The clashes were reportedly sparked by an assault on NFP supporter Thandeka Cele for wearing trousers.

When the man was arrested, his friends organised a march in protest, which triggered violence between IFP and NFP supporters.

Mayor visits community

The T-section is known as an IFP stronghold.

Ethekwini Municipality Mayor James Nxumalo visited the T-Section on February 28.

Nxumalo said the municipality would approach the department of housing to see if houses could be organised for people who had lost their homes.

The men were due to appear in the Umlazi Magistrate's Court on Monday afternoon.