Isithebe burns as people protest over leadership

Protesters are blocking roads with burning objects.
Protesters are blocking roads with burning objects.

Protesters are at it again in Isithebe, blocking roads with burning objects and stoning buildings since 1am this morning.

Isethebe businessman, Riaz Shaik was barred from getting to his business premises in Green Street where protesters had dragged two trailers across the road and set them alight.

“Police could not do anything and the fire brigade could not get in to put out the fire,” said Shaik who was wanting to know when the public order police would arrive.

Mandeni Business Against Crime’s Steve Fox said he was concerned the police were no longer empowered to handle protests.

“The Mandeni SAPS station commander, Lt Col Dladla has been on the ground since 10.30pm last night because we knew this was going to happen, but unfortunately they are not equipped or trained to deal with riots. The police’s riot gear was taken away from them after the Marikana massacre in 2013,” said Fox.

The protesters are in different groups moving around all the time, making them very difficult to control.

Fox said protesters are trying to enter factory premises to make workers come outside and they have also tried to force entry into a warehouse that he believed they wanted to loot.

“Residents are still protesting  for the same reason as last week – they are unhappy with the two, newly appointed indunas, elected by the chief.”

Fox said the protesters want to be involved in the selection process and were unhappy with the feedback from the chief at a community meeting yesterday afternoon.

 

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