Shallcross mob attacks police officers

By Karen Singh Time of article published Jan 7, 2019

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Durban - Three people were arrested following an attack on police officers at an alleged known drug den in Shallcross at the weekend.

Two police officers were rushed to hospital after the incident.
Police were conducting a raid on a property in Taurus Road when they came under attack.

The Minority Front’s Shallcross PR councillor, Jonathan Annipen, said people protesting against the alleged drug den were gathered around the property after the raid when an angry mob emerged.

“An angry mob of people who were either in support of the drug dealers or runners for the dealers started to attack police and damage their vehicles,” he said.

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said that police were following up intelligence regarding drug trade in the area when they were attacked.

“Durban Flying Squad members were conducting an operation in Taurus Street in Shallcross when they were allegedly attacked by a group of about 200 community members. Police officers were assaulted, a rifle was stolen and police vehicles were stoned and damaged,” said Mbhele.

Members of the Public Order police, the National Intervention Unit, K9 Unit, the Air Wing and Chatsworth police attended the scene.

Mbhele said although the “unruly crowd” initially prevented paramedics from assisting the injured police officers, said Mbele, they were eventually taken to hospital for medical attention.

She said a case of public violence, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, theft of a firearm, malicious damage to property and obstructing police officers was opened. “Police arrested three suspects aged 37 and 41 and they will be charged. Swift police action led to the recovery of the firearm and the arrest of a 26-year-old suspect who was found in possession of a police rifle. He was caught whist trying to conceal it. He will be charged for illegal possession of firearm. The arrested suspects will appear in the Chatsworth Magistrates’ Court soon,” she said.

Annipen said the sale of drugs has escalated in the area, and said authorities had also conducted other raids.

“The community is being held to ransom by these drug dens. Dealers approach poor members of the community and say, ‘you help us and we’ll pay your debt’,” Annipen said.

He said there are campaigns and various measures in place to educate and empower the community not to fall victim to drug dealers.

Mbhele added that swift police action led to the recovery of the firearm and the arrest of a 26-year-old suspect who was found in possession of a police rifle. “He was caught while trying to conceal it and he will be charged for illegal possession of a firearm,” she said.

She said “criminal and barbaric acts” of this nature by people who attack police and obstruct them from conducting their duties will not be tolerated.

The Mercury

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