New Hanover community torch municipality offices

Pretoria - The KwaZulu-Natal government has condemned the torching of government property in New Hanover, outside Pietermaritzburg.

It is alleged that some members of the community embarked on an illegal protest in the early hours of Tuesday, calling for the removal of the councillor in the area.

At about 1am, the protesters began torching the municipality offices and three vehicles belonging to the Department of Social Development.

They also invaded the offices of the Department of Transport where they burnt three vehicles, including a tractor and a truck.

Four suspects have been arrested and will appear in the New Hanover Magistrate court on Wednesday.

MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Mxolisi Kaunda, who visited the area on Tuesday, said the incident was unjustified and an act of criminality.

“We call upon members of the community to address their problems through constructive engagement. As government, we will not tolerate anarchy. I have asked the police to work around the clock to find more suspects who were involved in this criminal act.” said MEC Kaunda.

He urged the police to continue to monitor the situation to avert further destruction to public property.

“We want to applaud the police for their work in arresting four suspects who were implicated in the incident. However, we are worried they did not act swiftly when the community warned them about the incident,” said the MEC.

He has asked the police management in the area to investigate as to why police did not act when the information about an illegal protest was brought to their attention.