The police in KwaZulu-Natal reported on Saturday that they have arrested five people on charges of public violence which is related to a service delivery protest in Mbazwana. This was confirmed by the provincial police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker, who said: “On Saturday, Mbazwana police and Public Order Police arrested five suspects for public violence. The community embarked on an illegal protest, they blockaded the road with shards and burning tyres demanding service delivery.” Naicker said that when police had been alerted of the protest action, they went to the scene and confronted the members of the public who were involved in the strike. When they asked the protesters to disperse, they resisted but instead persisted with the illegal strike.
Police Colonel Naicker added that the police then proceeded to arrest five of those that were involved in the violent and illegal protest action. “Police were alerted about the demonstration and they proceeded to the area where they met the violent crowd. Police instructed them to disperse but they resisted. Then five suspects were arrested and taken to the police station for detention,” said the KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson. He added that the five suspects had been charged with public violence and would appear in the Jozini Magistrates’ Court soon.
Also commenting on the events of the day, the Police Commissioner in KwaZulu-Natal, Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni only had harsh words to say to the community of Mbazwana, saying that the police would not hesitate to throw those that were guilty of violent conduct during protests into jail. He added that members of the community should look at peaceful and lawful ways in which they could voice their concerns about service delivery so that they would not be thrown into jail. “We appeal to the community to use proper channels to voice their needs and refrain from damaging private property because that will land them behind bars,” said Lieutenant General Ngobeni.