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‘Heightened visibility’ of police at violence hotspots: Durban mayor

12 July 2021 - 12:18 By suthentira govender
Police officers inspect the aftermath of rioting in Durban on July 11 2021.
Police officers inspect the aftermath of rioting in Durban on July 11 2021.

eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda called for calm on Monday and said there would be heightened police visibility in violence-torn hotspots in Durban and surrounding areas.

He said since the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma last week, “the city continues to experience sporadic violent protests in areas including Peacevale along the N3, Umgababa on the N2, KwaMashu, Inanda, Umlazi, Clermont, Pinetown and the CBD”.

Violence and looting throughout the city and surrounds escalated on Sunday and gunshots and explosions could be heard through the night and into the early hours of Monday morning.

Private security companies have been assisting police to try to manage the pandemonium.

“Working with the police we have developed an integrated safety plan which includes heightened police visibility in these hotspot areas. We have also activated our community structures to work with us to bring stability in the city,” said Kaunda.

He said while people were angry about Zuma’s incarceration, “it is unacceptable to put the lives of other people at risk by embarking on violent public protests and destroying property”.

He said the country was still in the grips of the Covid-19 pandemic which has adversely affected the economy and jobs.

“We therefore request the residents of eThekwini to desist from embarking on violent actions which may exacerbate the economic crisis. Let us exercise restraint and prevent the loss of lives and damage to property.”

Kaunda said the municipality would do its “utmost best” to minimise service delivery interruptions.

Many malls, petrol stations and government buildings have been closed in and around Durban.