Police arrest 27 for violent protests in KZN
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The police in have confirmed that 27 people have been arrested so far following sporadic protests in KwaZulu-Natal linked to the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma.
Police said those arrested were facing charges including public violence, theft, damage to property and intimidation.
The operations manager for the N3 toll concession, Thania Dhoogra, said about 23 trucks - including those transporting luxury cars - and a tanker were burned last night and early this morning.
She said there were no injuries, but they are yet to assess the cost of the damage.
KZN police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said in the Empangeni area, where there were roadblocks, police arrested 19 people while the rest were arrested across the province, including in the Mooi River area where trucks were set alight between Friday night and Saturday morning.
He said more arrests would take place soon.
“Our police officers are stretched; the provincial commissioner yesterday mobilised officers across the province to come and assist us. This is becoming a cat-and-mouse game, especially in areas where there are informal settlements. People come to the road barricade and burn tyres, then, as soon as police get there, the protesters run away,” said Naicker.
Before the violent protests took place, there were warnings via voice notes shared on different social media platforms about the #KZNShutDown, a campaign calling for former President Jacob Zuma to be released from the Estcourt Correctional Centre, where he is serving his 15-month sentence for contempt of court.
However, Naicker said the police needed to meet community leaders to advise people to stop what they were doing.
Naicker said intelligence police were looking at different places, including social media, to try and trace the individuals responsible for mobilising people.
“The investigation is ongoing, and we are asking people to desist from breaking the law because they are going to be traced and arrested,” Naicker said.