KZN police on high alert following sporadic acts of violence, looting overnight

The unrest has largely been concentrated on major routes including the N2 and N3 with other sporadic incidents of violence reported in Escort, Empangeni, and KwaDukuza.

Police deployment in KZN will remain in place to ensure stability and prevent the possible erupting of further violence. Picture: Twitter/@SAPoliceService

JOHANNESBURG – KwaZulu-Natal police have intensified deployment in areas affected by the pro-Zuma protests.

There have been incidents of violence in some parts of the province with supporters of former President Jacob Zuma calling for his release.

Zuma is serving a 15-month jail term for contempt of the Constitutional Court.

READ: Zuma lawyers approach ConCourt to suspend his arrest warrant

Protests against the former president’s incarceration have continued day and night since Thursday.

Dozens of trucks were set alight, roads were closed, and several shops were looted.

The unrest has largely been concentrated on major routes including the N2 and N3 with other sporadic incidents of violence reported in Escort, Empangeni, and KwaDukuza.

The police’s Jay Naicker said, “Police, until late last night, had to attend to a number of incidents where roads were blockaded, and people attempted to loot shops. Police responded to a lot of these incidents and were able to disperse the people, and we continued to remain on high alert.”
Several people have been arrested.

On Saturday, President Cyril Ramaphosa condemned the violence saying vandalism and public violence cannot be legitimised.

‘WE HAVE LOST THE GATEWAY TO AFRICA STATUS WE ONCE HELD’

The Road Freight Association has said the protest in KwaZulu-Natal, which saw several trucks carrying cargo being set alight, has severely affected road freight transporters.

In a statement on Sunday, the association said according to reports it has received, more than 30 trucks had been damaged.

ALSO READ: KZN police will continue to monitor pro-Zuma protests

“We have small business owners who most probably have lost everything – their business, their vehicles, as well as the loads they were carrying. Their employees could very well face the ogre of unemployment. This, through no fault of their own – but solely due to the wanton and indiscriminate destruction by protesters.”

The association further said, due to the unrest and growing security risk, cargo owners were now looking at alternative routes through Namibia, Angola, Mozambique, and even further north.

“We have lost the Gateway to Africa status we once held. We are losing more and more transit freight through the country. Some transporters are looking at changing routes, and this affects many small economies along the route: from fuel to refreshments, support and security, whilst others are looking at getting out of a business that only brings tears and more tears.”

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