Workers prevented from leaving offices in City Hall precinct

Workers prevented from leaving offices in City Hall precinct

Some employees who work near Durban City Hall have spoken about being trapped in their buildings - as apro-Zandile Gumede protest turned violent on the streets outside. 

Durban CBD protest
Lauren Beukes

Supporters of the corruption-accused eThekwini mayor - gathered outside city hall this morning - but it descended into chaos.

Police officers used stun grenades to disperse the crowd.

Many employees waited to be evacuated from their workplaces while others tried to leave to on their own to avoid the mayhem.

This office worker says the protesters approached their building and threatened them if they didn't join in on the action.

"They threatened to break down the gates if we don't come in. So they're very angry. We have gathered our things and are waiting for an instruction to leave. I'm also terrified," the employee said. 

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Another man was headed to a morning meeting but had to sit in his parked car - unable to get out. 

He says he watched on as the protestors threw rubbish bins across the road. 

Police eventually came to his and other civilians' rescue.

"It was crazy and chaotic. They opened one lane for people to get away from there - there were municipal workers there for work or for meetings. We can be rest assured that metro police is there to make sure that minimal damage is caused - and ensure that everything is under control."

Police say seven people have been arrested for public violence.

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