Durban - Nine people that were arrested during a protest which shut down the N3 freeway in Howick are expected to appear in the Howick Magistrates Court on Friday. 

The protest could be linked to land grabs but also attributed to long-distance trucking and foreign nationals taking up job opportunities in the country. 

Captain Nqobile Gwala, a KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson, said that, on Thursday night, a group of community members invaded a private property in the Howick. 

"A total of nine suspects were arrested for trespassing. After the arrest of the suspects, members of the community embarked on a protest and blockaded the R617 Road and N3 northbound with burning tyres and logs," Gwala explained. 

The protestors allegedly fired shots at the police and also set alight a truck on the N3. Gwala said they also threw stones at police and motorists. 

"Rubber bullets were used to disperse the unruly crowd. There were reports of vehicles being damaged but no one came forward to open the case. The situation is quiet. Police are monitoring the area," Gwala stated. 

 A case of public violence was opened for investigation at Howick SAPS. The arrested suspects aged between 24 and 55 are appearing at the Howick Magistrates Court on Friday. 

Daily News