Protesters torch councillor’s office
Durban - A mob of 50 protesters on Tuesday night set alight a ward councillor’s office in Bonela, bordering Cato Manor.
This was the group’s second attempt this week to torch the office of ward 10 councillor Zanele Ndzoyiya.
Cato Crest residents in the ward are calling for the councillor to step down and accuse her of “rigging” municipal elections.
They also accuse her of not bringing any development to the ward.
Protests, which started earlier this week, led to Vusi Mzimela (Bellair) Road being closed because of rubble and burning tyres. The road was still closed this morning.
On Tuesday night, the mob in Candella Road caused mayhem outside the office and surrounding streets.
Ndzoyiya’s container office was situated in the parking area of a block of flats.
The security guards at the block were left helpless when the mob stormed the premises.
Several windows were smashed and cars damaged when the mob threw stones and rocks.
It is unclear what was used to start the fire. Firemen extinguished what was left of the smouldering pile of metal. Concrete fencing from a nearby house was also pulled off and thrown on to the road. Several bushes were set alight along the road.
Throughout the night, black smoke from burning tyres hung over Cato Crest and Bonela.
Protesters on Vusi Mzimele Road sang and chanted throughout the night.
Mobs using tree stumps, broken glass and refuse barricaded Rick Turner (Francois) Road to King Cetshwayo (Jan Smuts) Highway.
Police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane, said officers from Cato Manor police as well as the Public Order Police Unit, who “are well trained and equipped to handle the situation”, were deployed in the area to monitor the situation.
Seven people were expected to appear today in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on public violence charges.
Zwane said the people believed to have been part of the protesters who blocked Vusi Mzimele Road were between 18 and 38 years old.
Motorists were unable to use the road for most of the day on Tuesday.
According to residents, attempts were made to torch Ndzoyiya’s offices on Monday night, but had decided not to when they noticed police on the premises.
A resident, Gaddafi Sibiya, said protesters vowed to keep causing chaos until their cries were heard.
Ndzoyiya said she had received no instruction from the ANC to step down and she was rightfully elected.