WATCH | Inside KZN’s capital Pietermaritzburg as it burns

Police cordon off the scene near Henry Street in Pietermaritzburg where the body of a man lies on Monday following protests and looting.
Police cordon off the scene near Henry Street in Pietermaritzburg where the body of a man lies on Monday following protests and looting.
Image: Orrin Singh

KwaZulu-Natal’s capital of Pietermaritzburg turned into a war zone as violent protests and looting in the name of a campaign to release former president Jacob Zuma from prison intensified on Monday throughout the province.

The N3 highway leading to Pietermaritzburg was eerily quiet in contrast to the lawless masses running around the city.

A dead body, looters running through the streets without fear of recourse and hardly any police visibility was witnessed by a TimesLIVE team when patrolling through the area.

Reports that the military had been deployed to the area may have been misconstrued as four soldiers cast lonely figures surrounding the Pietermaritzburg high court.

Earlier on Monday, plumes of smoke billowed from the Brookside Mall. Later in the day, the mall was a no-go-zone as it has been completely taken over by protesters and looters.

Broken glass, concrete bins and steel trolleys were sprawled across roads leading to the gates at all the entrances to the mall.

The N3 between Harrismith and Cedara remains closed in the interests of safety and security.

According to the N3 toll concession, it remains unclear when the route will be reopened to traffic.

“Road users are advised to continue to avoid the area until further notice.”

TimesLIVE

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