IOL 15 January 2020

Durban – A truck was allegedly petrol-bombed during a service delivery protest on the N2 near Magabeni, south of Durban, on Wednesday. 

eThekwini Fire Department South Divisional Commander Justin Bateman said protesters gathered on the N2 northbound after the Magabeni and Ilfracombe offramp as early as 5am. 

The protesters allegedly set alight tyres and blocked the road preventing motor vehicles from passing through towards Amanzimtoti and Durban.

Bateman said the protest could have been linked to lack of water supply to the Magabeni community. 

“The driver of a super link truck carrying car parts had noticed the fire in the distance when he neared the offramp. However, while the driver was turning towards the offramp it was allegedly hit by a petrol bomb. The driver and his assistance fled the scene. They were not injured. Once the area was stabilised by the Public Order Police we moved in and extinguished the fire,” Bateman said.  

The truck, trailer and goods were extensively damaged.

Traffic on the N2 and the alternative R102 was initially interrupted by the protest but later re-opened. 

eThekwini Ward 99 Councillor Bob Daniel Naidoo said the alternate route on the R102 had also been blocked with tree logs but was cleared by police. 

“For some time now the community of Magabeni have been asking for an improvement to the water supply in the area. Some of the areas do not have a water supply,” Naidoo said. 

A community leader in the Danganya area near Ilfracombe, who did not want to be named, said it was the fourth time that people had been protesting. He said another issue was the resurfacing of certain roads near the Danyaga Primary School. 

“The municipality contractors filled the road with gravel instead of providing a properly tarred surface. People are angry,” he said.  

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said that at 02:30 a group of people from Danganya in Umkomaas blockaded N2 with burning tyres, stones and set a truck alight. 

“The truck driver sustained injuries. He was rushed to the hospital for medical attention. Members are still at the scene to monitor the situation,” she said. 

Charges of public violence, malicious damage to property and attempted murder will be opened at Umkomaas police station for investigation.  

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