Durban - Furious Nchanga residents have blockaded roads after a child was run over and killed on the township’s main road by a taxi.
The blockades have forced the closure of a number of schools, with teachers unable to get to class and pupils sent home.
Now, in the wake of the tragedy last week, which cost 4-year-old Minenhle Nkala his life, residents are demanding speed bumps be installed to slow traffic.
A resident said they tried to call the councillor for the area but he allegedly said he was busy watching soccer and this infuriated people even further.
The councillor has denied this.
The protests, which began on Friday when Minenhle was killed, continued on Monday.
The little boy’s mother, Fikile Nkala, 27, said children came to tell her Minenhle had been run over.
“When I got there, I saw Minenhle kneeling on the road. My sister took him and put him in the taxi that knocked him over and we went to the local clinic.”
Minenhle was transferred to RK Khan Hospital where he died. Nkala said she had trouble sleeping as every time she closed her eyes, she saw her son kneeling on the road.
“No-one helped him when he was injured. People just watched,” she sobbed.
The mother-of-two said she supported the call for speed bumps. “People were right to protest as our children are being hurt due to a lack of speed bumps on the road.”
Dennis Shozi, the councillor for the area, has denied he was watching soccer when a resident contacted him after the incident.
“I was out of the province on family matters in North West when the incident happened.” He said he only returned on Monday.
“When I heard about what had happened, I asked the mayor, James Nxumalo, to go to Nchanga and talk to residents to try to calm them down because I could not be there personally.”
Shozi said the municipality was already in the process of putting up speed bumps. “Unfortunately, where the accident happened was next in line to have speed bumps put in.”
The councillor met the local taxi association on Monday to discuss the incident and visited the family of the victim.
He saw how poor the family was and that their home was in a “bad condition”.
“I talked to a contractor so that we can build a new home for them.”
Police Captain, Thulani Zwane, confirmed the boy died in hospital. No arrests were made during the protests.
A taxi driver had been charged with culpable homicide, he said.