Protest in Groutville, Ntshawini closes major roads, at least 2 injured

Durban – Overnight mass protest action by the Groutville and Ntshawini communities in KwaDukuza, north of Durban, caused chaos on the North Coast on Tuesday morning.

Police and residents engaged in running battles as the community attempted to keep the N2 north and R102 roads closed.

Residents were protesting due to power outages in the area.

"How can they do this to us and expect us to be quiet? It is not right," a woman told News24.

Durban - A media contingent driving through both areas witnessed many people of all ages using skips, logs, tyres, rocks and trash to prevent cars from moving freely.

When a media contingent attempted to move from Groutville to Ntshawini, many residents demanded a "toll fee" from journalist for them to go through. Ordinary minibus taxis however, moved freely.

One inebriated man said at a "toll": "You have to pay R10 if you want to move past here. Please my friend, I am hungry."

Home burnt, looted

Public order police armed with batons, rubber bullets and teargas attempted to move debris and clear roads. Undeterred, the protesters merely moved a little further up the road and blocked it again.

There were also reports that a foreign shopkeeper's home had been burnt. News24 visited the home and confirmed this. However, homeowners were nowhere to be found. Instead, people were looting the home and stealing parts from burnt cars.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said police could not immediately confirm details surrounding the matter.

"We are investigating the reports now."

Police also reported that at least two people had been shot on Monday night when the protest began.

"A suspect travelling in a VW Golf 7 opened fire at people who were at the market. They sustained injuries and were taken to a hospital for medical attention," Mbhele said.

KwaDukuza municipality spokesperson Sifiso Zulu said officials from the electricity department would update the public through the day on the matter.

"We have just gotten out of a meeting. We will put something out soon."