UPDATED | Protests flare up in Durban over Zuma - Durban Chamber issues warning

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Tyres being burned on Umgeni roadPHOTO: Supplied
Tyres being burned on Umgeni roadPHOTO: Supplied

A number of roads in Durban central have been blocked by burning tyres as protests flare up in the city. There are also unconfirmed reports that the R56 near Foxhill is blocked.

The protests are reportedly due to the recent incarceration of former President Jacob Zuma.

Colonel Thembeka Mbele said on SAfm there were reports that the protest were linked to Jacob Zuma but this was not confirmed.  She said police are monitoring the situation and will be unblocking the roads.

Andreas Mathios, from Marshall Security, said there are sporadic incidents around Durban of burning tyres and stoning of vehicles. 

Mathios said protesters have blocked Umgeni Road (leading into Durban) and motorists are being diverted by Metro Police to alternative routes away from the Alpine area.

“Fires have been set by protesters, who are also now starting to stone motor vehicles and Metro Police have got their hands full. We asking members of the public to please stay off Umgeni road, on both directions,” he said.

Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad, Durban Metro Police spokesperson, told The Witness there are at least five confirmed protests.

Alpine and Umgeni:

Alpine road Opposite shell garage.


N2 Between Umhlanga and Sibiya

Ntuzuma E section

Verulam M27 Past Spar Waterloo

“Metropolice officers are on the scene and are diverting drivers away from the protests,” said Sewpersad.

There have been posters circulating on social media calling for the shutdown of all major roads in KwaZulu-Natal in support of Zuma.

Zuma started his 15-months imprisonment term at the Estcourt Correctional Centre on Thursday.

There were also reports of disruptions on the M19 to Springfield.

M19 to Springfield.

Nigel Ward, the president of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, released a media statement warning businesses about potential business disruptions due to protest action in the area.

Ward said the Chamber has received reports of disruptive groups shutting down businesses, starting from KwaDukuza Municipality to eThekwini Municipality.

“The reason for this disruptive behaviour is known and is currently circulating in the media space following the arrest of the former president,” said Ward.

He said they are taking the necessary steps and working closely with law enforcement to manage the situation.

Ward encouraged business owners to remain on high alert and ensure risk mitigation measures are in place.

Zuma's daughter, Dudu Zuma-Sambula, was on Friday morning retweeting videos of Zuma protests around the country.

Just before 9 am, the M4 highway was blocked by protesters between Tongaat and Gennazano on the North Coast.

A video taken by a motorist showed that both lanes were obstructed by debris which was then set on fire, forcing cars to find alternative routes.

I-traffic KZN updated on Twitter that the N2 north bound between Umhlanga and Sibaya has been cleared.

Verulam police spokesperson, Captain Henry Kisten said the disruptions at the M27, past Waterloo Spar, in Verulam have also quietened down.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Daily Poll
AfriForum is appealing the finding that the gratuitous display of the old South African flag is hate speech. They feel that the Equality Court's order to ban the flag is too over-reaching. What are your thoughts on this matter?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
You can never erase history so why ban the flag
37% - 73 votes
Ban the flag, it’s a reminder of a painful past
16% - 31 votes
Who cares, we have bigger problems in this country
47% - 93 votes


Read the digital editions of Witness here.
Read now