SEVEN suspects were arrested on Monday, 11 July, at Shaka’s Head, Umhlali area for allegedly being involved in the burning of the ward councillor’s house and vehicle earlier this year.
This is according to KZN SAPS spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane who said the suspects were arrested in the early hours of Monday following an intelligence-driven operation by the Phoenix Tactical Response Team and detectives from Mandeni SAPS.
“The operation was conducted after detectives were investigating a public violence and malicious damage to property that was reported at Shaka’s Head . They appeared in the Umhlali Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, 12 July, for public violence, arson and malicious damage to property,” he said.
According to reports, on Tuesday morning Shaka’s Head residents took to the streets protesting, closing off the N2 and other roads demanding the suspects be released from police custody.
In February this year angry protesters in Shaka’s Head allegedly burnt ward 4 councillor Jetro Banda’s house and vehicle demanding that he be removed from his position. The protesters took to the streets in the early hours of the morning of 21 February and reportedly blocked the R102 and N2 with burning tyres and trees.
“It took the detectives almost five months to gather evidence and they managed to trace the suspects,” said Zwane.
The KwaZulu-Natal acting provincial commissioner Bhekinkosi Langa warned the community not to engage in unlawful gatherings.
“The police will not tolerate such behaviour where property is being damaged and innocent people are being assaulted. Such cases will be thoroughly investigated and the police will make sure that those involved will be prosecuted,” he said.