Over 60 incidents of protests and looting reported in Durban

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eThekwini Metro Police spokesperson Zama Dlamini says over 60 protest and looting incidents were reported in different parts of the Durban Metro today.

“We have 65 incidents that Durban Metro Police members, as well as SAPS members, attended to. We are still waiting for more as since they are still patrolling and some are static in the area which we think are volatile areas. Today’s looting,  the main one of happened in Springfield. Today there were more than 20 arrests that we made to all the suspects for theft.”

Protestors vow to continue until Zuma is released:

Truck set alight at Dalton Hostel

A truck that was transporting meat has been set alight at the Dalton Hostel in Durban. Residents in the area then looted what was left of the truck’s cargo. Police are in the area. Hostel residents, who took to the streets, have threatened to loot shops until former president Jacob Zuma is released.

“This is not constitutional, we are going back to apartheid, you can’t arrest without a trial. It is not fair we are not saying he’s not guilty, we know we are not judges but they must prosecute him correctly. We are going to mobilize and all stores, we are hungry we don’t have food, so if we do not afford food what is it that we must do if there is food there in the shops, so we must go there and enjoy,” say some residents.

Supermarket looted in Mooi River

A Mooi River supermarket has suffered looting, largely of its alcohol stock, due to the ongoing violent protests sweeping across KwaZulu-Natal. The protests have now spread to areas in Gauteng.

Store manager Denzil Subramoney says it was a traumatic experience but is grateful that law enforcement agencies responded swiftly. He says they have not yet calculated their financial loss.

“As you can see the shelves are empty they came in through the entrance they robbed the guards they came inside and they took the liquor as you can see from the shelves. It was very traumatising. Thanks to SAPS they responded very well and thanks that they did not harm any guards and no one was harmed physically and no life was lost on the day.”

Economic impact on the province

The KwaZulu-Natal government says it is concerned that the ongoing protests calling for the release of former President Jacob Zuma, will deter investors. Provincial MEC for Community Liaison Peggy Nkonyeni is appealing for calm.

The Mooi River Toll Plaza is now open to traffic, a number of trucks have resumed their trips on the north and south bound carriageways. Over 20 trucks were set alight at the toll plaza on Friday which forced officials to shut down the freeway.

MECs Peggy Nkonyeni and Ravi Pillay visited the toll plaza:

“We have now combined a multidisciplinary law enforcement task team that is dealing with criminality that is happening here and we are really warning people that they must just stop this thing that is happening. We are also calling for restraint and our people they must be calm,” says Nkonyeni.

Economic Development MEC Ravi Pillay says they are still calculating the cost of the damage.

“From outside from the economic cluster the single biggest task is to rebuild our economy. It will be dishonest to say this has not taken us a step back. We need to restore order and start to rebuild but what we’re saying we will not allow those who want to reduce economic transformation to looting, that we cannot accept.”