Jeff Wicks, The Times
A man has died in clashes between the eThekwini Municipality’s security services and shack dwellers in eMansenseni‚ near Mariannhill‚ west of Durban.
Several people were also injured in the incident.
Shack dwellers’ movement Abahlali baseMjondolo described the skirmish as a “serious attack” and said the scene looked like “a war zone”.
In a statement issued on Tuesday night‚ the movement said that members of the Land Invasion Unit had attempted to disperse a crowd.
“It was a war zone. The Land Invasions Unit didn’t talk to anyone. They just fired live ammunition. The intention was clearly to kill‚ to teach a lesson. Brutal evictions are on the rise across Durban. Protest is also coming under serious repression‚” the movement said.
Abahlali baseMjondolo has since announced a protest in central Durban in response to the killing. It is scheduled for Monday‚ June 26.
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said the fracas had arisen while municipal security officials were demolishing shacks.
“The community members allegedly fought off the guards at Milky Way Road near Nsimbini. Security guards fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. Three people were shot. A 29-year-old male died at the scene and the other two were injured and rushed to hospital for treatment‚” Mbhele added.
eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Tozi Mthethwa said: “The circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated by the South African Police Service and the municipality will cooperate fully with the investigation.”