UMHLALI – Seven suspects aged between 23 and 45 who were allegedly involved in protest were identified and arrested by the Phoenix Tactical Response Team and Mandeni detectives after they conducted an intelligence driven operation in the early hours of yesterday, 11 July 2016 at Shaka’s head, Umhlai area. The operation was conducted after detectives were investigating a public violence and malicious damage to property charge that was reported at Shaka’s head in the Umhlali area. The suspects will appear in the Umhlali Magistrate’s Court today, 12 July 2016 for public violence, arson and malicious damage to property.
In February this year, a group of angry protesters went to a local councillor’s house at Shaka’shead and allegedly set it alight. His vehicle which was on the premises was also set alight at the same time. Cases of public violence, arson and malicious damage to property were opened at Umhlali police station for investigation. The docket was assigned to Mandeni detectives who started their investigation. It took the detectives almost five months to gather evidence and they managed to trace the suspects in the area before they were arrested.
The KwaZulu Natal Acting Provincial Commissioner, Bhekinkosi Langa, warned the community not to engaged themselves in unlawful gatherings. “I want to send a strong message to those who involve themselves in such unlawful protests that the police will not tolerate such behaviour where property is being damaged and innocent people are being assaulted. Such cases will be thoroughly investigated and make sure that those involved will be prosecuted,” he said.