On the boil – angry residents clash with cops in protest
24 June 2009
Canaan Mdletshe – email@example.com
DISGRUNTLED residents in Lindelani, north of Durban, went on a rampage yesterday blockading roads with burning tyres and forcing the closure of schools.
The residents are complaining about lack of service delivery, particularly the allocation of low-cost housing in the area.
Lindelani was in flames from the early hours as incensed residents became violent.
Schools were closed as teachers went home fearing for their safety and examinations were disrupted. People on their way to work were accosted and forced to join in the protest.
Though Lindelani is an IFP stronghold, residents are complaining about an IFP councillor, Skhumbuzo Myeza, who they accuse of “failing them”. They said that since he took over as councillor in 2005, they have seen no difference.
The protest which had been anticipated to be peaceful got out of hand as early as 5am. Annoyed residents started blockading roads with stones.
When Sowetan arrived , the situation was volatile as police fired rubber bullets in a bid to disperse the unruly crowd.
Nine people were arrested, one with a firearm . Others were injured . Two police vans were stoned and some police officers were injured as they were pelted with stones.
March organizer Bonginkosi Mbonambi said they decided to protest because they have “had enough” of their councillor.
“He has done absolutely nothing for us . Our houses were damaged during heavy storms in 2007 and nothing has happened.
“Instead, he has colluded with the eThekwini municipality and decided to instal water meters for us, though we live in shacks without electricity or employment,’ Mbonambi said.
Residents also accused Myeza of employing people who are his cronies. “ He also sells sites to his cronies and we can’t take it anymore,” Mbonambi said.
IFP provincial organiser Phumlani Khuzwayo said the IFP’s PEC was meeting on Wednesday and Myeza would top the agenda.
KwaMashu police spokesperson Captain Phindile Nxumalo said the march had to be cancelled after it turned violent.
“We had to use rubber bullets to bring the situation to order. Those arrested will be charged with public violence.”