KZN Police warning on road blockade during protests
15 May 2012
KwaZulu-Natal police are urging communities to refrain from barricading public roads during the service delivery protest or any other form of protest. It seems to have become a trend for protestors to blockade public roads with burning tyres, boulders or logs during protest marches, demonstrations and strikes. Although it is their democratic right to engage in protest action as enshrined in the Constitution, it by no means gives them free rein to infringe upon the rights of others.
This trend has occurred on several occasions including the recent closure of R74 Main Road in Greytown where the protesting communities blockaded the road with stones and burning tyres during their protest action. Police intervention led to the arrest of 132 people, including juveniles for public violence.
It is the constitutional right of any community member to protest, however that right is limited when it infringes another person’s right to use the public road. The Police have a constitutional obligation to protect the rights of all citizens and any such violation will be acted upon decisively by the police.
Violent protests and road blockade cannot be tolerated as they constitute public violence which will lead to the arrest and prosecution of protesters.
Police will do everything in their power to bring those responsible for such illegal behaviour before the courts.
Colonel Jay Naicker
Cell: 082 556 7865
Issued by: South African Police Service
15 May 2012
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