Police deployed to Nkandla as protest action grows in KZN

Traffic on the N3 between Durban and Pietermaritzburg was backlogged for several kilometres due to protest action.
Traffic on the N3 between Durban and Pietermaritzburg was backlogged for several kilometres due to protest action.
Image: Vernon Moodley

The police were deployed to Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday morning.

The deployment came after widespread protests in and around Durban following a viral message calling for a “#ShutdownKZN” protest in support of former president Jacob Zuma after he was jailed on Wednesday night. 

According to the viral message, Zuma’s supporters planned to shut down “factories, government, shops and roads”.

Provincial police spokesperson Col Thembeka Mbele told TimesLIVE officers had been deployed to the Nkandla area.

“We can confirm there is protest action in the King Cetshwayo district and the N2 is closed due to protesters burning tyres and trucks blocking the road. There are no reports of any arrests.

“Within Durban there are only service delivery protests in the Umzinyathi, Nqutu and Ntuzuma areas,” she said.

A major route in KwaZulu-Natal, the N3 between Durban and Pietermaritzburg was blocked by burning tyres and traffic was backlogged for several kilometres.

Earlier, Durban metro police spokesperson Senior Supt Parbhoo Sewpersad confirmed to TimesLIVE there were several active protests on Durban roads on Friday morning. He said protesters were at:

  • Alpine and Umgeni roads;
  • Alpine Road opposite the Shell garage;
  • the N2 between Umhlanga and Sibiya; 
  • Ntuzuma E section; and
  • in Verulam on the M27 near Spar Waterloo.

“The police service has been dispatched,” he said.

Motorists have posted visuals on social media which showed trucks blockading the N2 in Richards Bay and Tongaat.

At the corner of Quarry Road East and Umgeni Road in Durban, informal settlement residents claimed they had been setting up a blockade from as early as 3am.

Siphiwe Shazi said their actions were in solidarity with Zuma.

After being dispersed from the road, residents were screaming  “what did Zuma do” from their front doors and yards.

“At 4am we were here because we are prepared to fall where he falls. We are saying leave Msholozi alone. The man is old. Our standpoint is that he has not been given a fair trial as our leader and former president. We want to know what it is that he did, and is he the first person to do that?” residents said. 

Residents said because they could not travel to Nkandla to show support at Zuma’s home, they were participating in the protests on Friday.

TimesLIVE

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.