29 arrested, bus set alight as protests erupt in Durban

Authorities have confirmed that 29 people have been arrested, after protests erupted in different parts of Durban on Monday morning.

Metro police spokesperson Parboo Sewpersad told News24 that some members of a group of around 100 protesters outside King George Hospital in Sydenham were arrested after violence broke out.

“They were asked to disperse after they blocked the road with debris and burning tyres. They began hurling stones and other objects at police. Following the arrests, the roadway was cleared. The situation is still being monitored.”

He said they were demanding jobs.

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said they had arrested 29 following the same protest. She said that an ambulance was damaged during the violent protest.

“The police had to use rubber bullets to disperse the unruly crowd. A total of 29 suspects were arrested for public violence. They are expected to appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court tomorrow.”

Just down the road from the hospital on Stanley Copley Drive, protesters thought to be shack dwellers, set an eThekwini Metro bus alight, Sewpersad said.

“It is unclear at this stage how they got hold of the bus. We are monitoring the area very closely. Fire services put out the fire and we are awaiting a salvage vehicle to take it away.”

Students gathering

Sewpersad said that students from a number of tertiary institutions around the city were mobilising since early this morning.

“We have observed that most of these students are going from campus to campus and getting together to protest.”

He said that students from the Mangosuthu Technikon in Umlazi had blocked the Mangosuthu Highway this morning.

“They burned tires and other objects. Police have since cleared the roadway, but we are still keeping a presence.”

Meanwhile, videos have emerged online showing students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Westville campus also protesting.

Students resolved to undertake protest action saying the NSFAS funding system was inefficient and slowing down the progress of students. DM


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