Zikalala steps in as violent protests flare up in Ladysmith

Zikalala steps in as violent protests flare up in Ladysmith

Premier Sihle Zikalala says violent behaviour by protesters in Ladysmith will not be tolerated. 

Zikalala ladysmith protest

Zikalala visited the Midlands town on Tuesday after chaotic demonstrations flared up against the Alfred Duma Local Municipality mayor, Vincent Madlala. They've accused Madlala of corruption. 

Police arrested 28 people on a charge of public violence, after five trucks were torched on Monday night. 

Zikalala says the provincial government will investigate their grievances. 

"While we investigate corruption, we will equally deal with all criminal elements that have taken place in this area. Including the burning of trucks and all of that. 

"There is no reason to complain about corruption, but on the other side you burn trucks, you loot all things that are there."

Those protesting under the Ubumbano Lokuthula group feel that Zikalala didn't hear them out. 

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Andile Hlatshwayo is the spokesperson for the group: "It is the people's vote that puts them in governance.They are neglecting and being arrogant, he came and boasted to us and said, I am the premier and you cant tell me what I should do."

"The people that are protesting they are still on the road and they will still go on doing what they are doing because you don't take in regard what they want."

Protests brought the town to a standstill recently - disturbing business and service delivery. 

Meanwhile, Umgeni Water says the water in Ladysmith is safe to drink.

The utility took samples and had them tested after rumours started going around that the water in the town had been contaminated.

The claims came in the midst of community protests that have shut down the area.

Umgeni Water's Shami Harichunder says they conducted tests on three major sources in Ladysmith. 

He says results came back on Wednesday morning. 

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