Angry crowd sets alight councillor's house, local clinic

2016-04-20 08:57


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Pietermaritzburg - Irate community members in Copesville went on the rampage on Monday, setting alight a councillor's house and the local clinic, and blocking off roads with burning tyres.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said in a statement 27 suspects were arrested for public violence. They appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate's Court on Monday and were released on warning. The case was remanded to May 24 for further investigation.

He said trouble started brewing when about 5 000 community members started protesting about service delivery, blockading the New Greytown Road with burning tyres, stones and metal barriers.

"The councillor’s house was set alight. Two park homes of the local clinic were also set alight. Again on yesterday morning, they blockaded the road by burning tyres. The Mountain Rise police and Public Order Police are in the area to monitor the situation."

KZN provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni welcomed the arrest of the suspects.

“We are appealing to the members of the community to exercise their rights to protest, peacefully. We strongly condemned the acts where properties are damaged by the unruly crowd. Those involved will face the long arm of the law,” she said.

Local leadership met on Monday to try and resolve the issues.

Zwane said no new reports of violence have been received, but police will keep on monitoring.

Meanwhile, KZN Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo in a statement condemned an attack on two Emergency Medical Services paramedics who were targeted after they responded to a call in the Sinathing area outside Pietermaritzburg on Monday night.

His spokesperson Desmond Motha said reports indicated that the male and female paramedics were attacked by unknown people at around midnight.

"One of the paramedics sustained stab wounds while his crew member was assaulted," said Motha.

Dhlomo said the attack on paramedics was "barbaric" and "compromises the safety of our emergency workers and cripples the essential services they render".



Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  protests

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