Durban - The police in KwaZulu-Natal say they have arrested about 10 people for various transgressions during the early hours of the start of the national shutdown called by EFF on Monday.
The provincial commissioner, Lt General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, said the alleged transgressions included blocking roads with trees and vehicles.
Mkhwanazi said this in Durban on Monday morning when speaking to the media before doing rounds all over the province.
WATCH: The protest by EFF supporters as part of the national shutdown is slowly gathering pace in Glenwood, Durban, where the party's provincial offices are located. #NationalShutDown Video: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA). @IOL pic.twitter.com/18yLcIZWFb— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) March 20, 2023
According to him, roads in Inanda, north of Durban were closed while Hiberdeene on the south coast saw the roads blocked with two vehicles which were later confiscated by the police. Other road closures were in Mooi River in the Midlands and in Umkhanyakude in the north of the province.
“For now, I know off my head there are about 10 protesters (arrested) but I am not sure what has been the latest since the last two hours I have been engaged, so I never really got to check the stats,” he revealed.
Mkhwanazi also told the media that a truck bound for Mozambique was shot at (he survived the shooting) and they cannot conclusively say it was related to the national shutdown.
#NationalShutDown - EFF members are slowly gathering outside their offices in Glenwood in Durban while the national shutdown is yet to fully get off the ground. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA) @IOL pic.twitter.com/YdFaA3y3NX— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) March 20, 2023
“There was a shooting incident to a truck driver, a truck that was travelling towards Mozambique, we do not know whether it is part of the protest, it is a criminality that is happening there,” Mkhwanazi said.
Although Mkhwanazi did not officially confirm the incident, the SAPS and the army had to swiftly move in to clear a road in Jozini which was barricaded with stones in the early hours of Monday morning.
#NationalShutDown - The SAPS and the SANDF have swiftly moved in to clear eMakhonyeni road in Jozini in northern KwaZulu-Natal after it was barricade with stones. The road leads to Jozini mall, on the eastern part of the congested town. @IOL pic.twitter.com/kviqnbyU6u— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) March 20, 2023
Other than that, most areas in KwaZulu-Natal were relatively calm, but the streets were empty.
One area which was notably stable was the notorious township of KwaMashu in the north of Durban.
WATCH: It's business as usual on the notorious Dumisani Makhaye highway, which connects Durban and Pinetown, passing by KwaMashu township. This highway is notorious for having trucks looted mainly by KwaMashu residents. #NationalShutdown @IOL pic.twitter.com/W7MFijcuEd— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) March 20, 2023
The township was the epicentre of violence, looting and destruction of properties during the unrest of July 2021.
Also calm, with empty streets, was the notorious and crime ridden township of Ntshwawini in KwaDukuza (Stanger) in the north of Durban.
Meanwhile, although the shutdown in KwaZulu-Natal started on a low note, by 11am scores of EFF members had gathered outside their offices in Glenwood in Durban.
It was not yet immediately clear where they were heading as they had not given out an official itinerary to the SAPS or the Durban metro police.