Fears pro-Zuma protest could intensify, KZN police bolster officers in hotspots

Police spokesperson Jay Naicker said several people have been arrested, and more officers have been called to curb the unrest linked to the arrest of the former president on Wednesday.

Supporters gesture as they gather in front of former South African president Jacob Zuma’s rural home in Nkandla on July 4, 2021. On July 3, 2021, hundreds of supporters gathered to show solidarity for former South African president Jacob Zuma outside his Nkandla homestead, as the deadline looms for him to surrender to the authorities. Picture: Emmanuel Croset / AFP

JOHANNESBURG – Police have deployed more resources in several parts of KwaZulu-Natal amid escalating pro-Zuma protests.

The demonstrations began on Thursday, where protesters called for the release of the former president.

Jacob Zuma is serving a 15-month jail sentence handed down by the Constitutional Court for contempt.

There are fears more violent protests will take place across the province.

On Friday night, several trucks were set alight along the N3 with passing cars stoned and gunshots heard.

Police spokesperson Jay Naicker said several people have been arrested, and more officers have been called to curb the unrest.

“The KwaZulu-Natal provincial commissioner has mobilised police officers from across the province, to deployed in all districts within the province.”

It’s believed 20 trucks were set alight last night at the Mooiriver toll plaza.

Premier Sihle Zikalala has called for calm.

READ: #KZNShutdown - Premier Sihle Zikalala calls for calm amid fiery protests

Meanwhile, Police Minister Bheki Cele has commended the police for the way they conducted themselves when faced with a hostile crowd at Nkandla last Sunday.

Addressing specialised units in Empangeni, Cele commended the discipline demonstrated by the officers.

The police were criticised for not acting when a large crowd gathered to hear former president Zuma speak at his homestead

The crowd had gathered in contravention of lockdown regulations, with shots also fired.

But Cele's spokesperson Lirandzu Themba said they managed to contain the situation.

“The Minister told the officers that President Cyril Ramaphosa has also commended the discipline demonstrated by these officers who were faced with a very difficult situation.”

WATCH: Zuma supporters outside Nkandla homestead after curfew

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