KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Jay Naicker says they’ve arrested twenty-seven people since yesterday, on charges related to the ongoing protests across the province.
“Especially in areas where there are informal settlements that are bordering our routes you know they would come onto the road place barricades and burning tyres. As soon as police get there they would flee into these informal settlements. We’ve been fortunate to go into those informal settlements and arrest but police officers have their hands full today. You know you can saturate the area with a number of police officers as possible. I think we need to go to the ground, the community leaders in these areas need to be speaking to the people and tell them what they are doing.”
Zikalala appeals for calm
Premier Sihle Zikalala has appealed for calm as protest action blocking traffic on several major highways in KwaZulu-Natal continues. Zikalala says it is believed that the protests are in connection with the incarceration of former President Jacob Zuma.
The N3 highway in Durban from the Midmar Dam offramp to Pietermaritzburg has remained closed in both directions.
Concerns over torching of trucks:
Former President Jacob Zuma has lost his application for a stay of his arrest. The High Court in Pietermaritzburg handed down judgment on Friday.
Zikalala has called for peaceful engagement. He says several vehicles were reportedly stoned public infrastructure damaged resulting in many commuters not being able to reach their places of work.
“It’s is reported and believed that the protests are on the incarceration of former President and his excellency comrade Jacob Zuma. We understand the extreme anger of the people who are protesting, however, we call on those who are protesting to do so through peaceful means and avoid violence and destruction at all costs,” says Zikalala.
President issues stern warning to criminal elements
President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned that criminal elements must be met with the full might of the law. The Presidency has endorsed the call by the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Sihle Zikalala for calm and commended police efforts to quell the violence that is gripping the province.
Violence concentrated on the N3, N2 and M7 and other key roads are linked to protests around the incarceration of former President Jacob Zuma.
Scores of trucks have been set alight, roads closed and shops looted in Mooi River, with incidences in Empangeni, Escourt, Mthubathuba and KwaDukuza.
Acting spokesperson in the Presidency Tyrone Seale says,” President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on communities in KwaZulu-Natal to desist from undermining the rule of law and inflicting damage on the economy. President Ramaphosa says the impact of public violence against the road freight industry and damage to freeways that serve as economic arteries will be felt also by the people organising and committing these crimes. The President says the reasons allegedly advanced for the violence in KwaZulu-Natal cannot be used to legitimise vandalism and public violence. The Constitution protects the right to protest but protest cannot be abused to break the law or to destroy property and threaten livelihoods.”