Killarney Valley residents worry about tonnes of fireworks in barn

2017-09-14 13:45
ABOVE: Killarney Valley local Sil Passero shows outrage over tonnes of fireworks stored in a barn. INSET: A police vehicle blocks the entrance to the farm.

ABOVE: Killarney Valley local Sil Passero shows outrage over tonnes of fireworks stored in a barn. INSET: A police vehicle blocks the entrance to the farm. (Ian Carbutt)

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Killarney Valley farmers are calling for the removal of tonnes of fireworks that are being stored in a barn in the area.

Killarney Valley, which is in the Cato Ridge area, has been zoned as an agricultural area and locals have said that the fireworks were not only a potential threat to humans and animals, but also illegal.

A nearby farmer, Dawn Dormer, said the barn storing the fireworks was surrounded by dry grass and she feared the fireworks could catch alight.

Protesting residents gathered outside the farm where the fireworks are being stored.

They demanded to enter the property to inspect the barn and have a look at the fireworks, but the farm owner would not let them in.

A police van blocked the road between the farm and the residents.

The owner of the farm, Vash Mahabeer, said she would comment once she had spoken with her attorney, but could not be reached at the time of going to print on Wednesday.

Mkambathini municipal spokesperson Buyi Mthiyane said officials had set off on a site visit but the owner refused them entry.

Mthiyane said the officials spoke with Mahabeer, who told the municipality she had received permission to store the fireworks from the bomb squad in Pietermaritzburg.

“She further claims to have applied for rezoning of the land in Pretoria and documentation is with her lawyers in Durban,” said Mthiyane.

“According to our town planner, the Killarney Valley area is not a conservancy but is zoned as farming land.

“We can confirm that the farm owner has not made contact with Mkhambathini on this matter.

“The technical services department head has written a cease and desist letter that will be formally served on the owner today,” said Mathiyane.

However, KZN police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said that the farm was licensed to keep fireworks.

“The police explosive unit did inspect the premises and found the owner complied with the licence.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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