KZN premier's office employee arrested after foreigners robbed in Durban
An employee in the office of KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala was arrested on Monday during a heated confrontation with eThekwini metro police after the alleged robbery of two foreigners in the city centre.
It is alleged that the man, a community outreach officer in premier's office and a member of the uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans (MKMVA), was arrested while intervening after a woman and her boyfriend were robbed of their valuables near the Workshop shopping centre.
The incident followed a spate of attacks on three shops, two of which were foreign-owned, by a group of people in the CBD earlier in the day.
MKMVA KZN convener Zibuse Cele cried foul, claiming he was there during the incident and that his colleague was innocent.
“We were at city hall to hand over a memorandum to the premier's office. The bodyguard had accompanied Nhlanhla Ngidi to accept the memorandum on behalf of premier Zikalala.”
He said after handing over the memorandum, they walked across the road and witnessed a robbery taking place.
“Two foreigners were being robbed. My colleague left me and tried to resolve that problem. After that, a metro cop came and pointed a finger at his forehead, and he also did the same,” said Cele.
He said the cop called for backup, which resulted in the arrest of the bodyguard, along with three others.
A police report, which TimesLIVE has seen, claims that witnesses pointed out the premier's office employee as being part of the robbery.
Metro police spokesperson Snr Supt Parboo Sewpersad confirmed the arrests.
“Four people were arrested by members of metro police and charged with robbery. They were handed over to SAPS and detained at Durban central police station.”
SAPS spokesperson Capt Nqobile Gwala said a case of robbery was being investigated.
“It is alleged yesterday at 4pm, a woman was walking with her boyfriend on Soldiers Way when they were confronted by a group of men. The suspects robbed them of cash and cellphones. The police officers who were in the vicinity were alerted of the robbery and immediately responded. Four suspects aged between 32 and 48 were placed under arrest while others managed to flee,” said Gwala.
Provincial government spokesperson Lennox Mabaso told TimesLIVE that the law should take its course.
“The office of the premier believes that the law must be allowed to take its course without fear, favour or prejudice, regardless of who is involved.
The office respects the law-enforcement agencies and the judiciary and will allow those processes to unfold before we make any further comments.”
Meanwhile, Cele denounced MKMVA's involvement in any of the attacks on Monday.
In a statement, police said one person was arrested after he tried to stab police officers while resisting arrest after the attacks on three shops.
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