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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

WATCH | Durban protesters fire live rounds at police, burn vehicles in Durban

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A truck was set alight on South Coast Road in Durban and four municipal cars also torched at Lamontville Sizakala Centre on Monday as angry community members protested against the disconnection of their illegal power lines and service delivery issues.

Reports indicate that police, who initially attempted to control the situation, had to stand down after live rounds were allegedly fired at them. It is understood that numerous roads and intersections in Lamontville have been blocked off with burning tyres and debris.

The N2 was blocked off in both directions but police managed to clear the area. A truck was reportedly set alight on South Coast Road just across the N2 highway.

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Metro police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad said the situation was extremely volatile and reinforcements had been called in to help their members and the SAPS.

He said there were reports of a hostage situation. “Our members have deployed to a school in Ntuli Road in Lamontville, as information was received that there is a possible hostage situation.”

However, provincial department of education spokesperson Sihle Mhlotshwa said: “There is no hostage situation in any of our schools in Lamontville. Teaching and learning is not taking place because all roads are closed by service delivery protests.”

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eThekwini municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela confirmed that the protests are related to a range of service delivery issues regarding water and housing in the area. The community is also up in arms over their illegal power lines being disconnected.

“There is no amount of grievance that will justify this. Even with electricity, we have challenges with it in the city because of illegal connections. Now that it’s winter the demand for power is higher. We have transformers that are malfunctioning because they are overburdened by illegal connections.”

He said the protest was “tantamount to treason” and called on the authorities to deal with the matter swiftly.

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said six government vehicles were burnt and public order police officers were dispersing protesters.

She also said that a truck had been set alight on South Coast road.

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