South Africa: The KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs are very concerned about the unfortunate incident that took place in Charlestown just outside Newcastle on Tuesday, which resulted in the injury of two individuals during a public protest.
According to the MEC of KwaZulu Natal, “Our thoughts and well wishes go out to the injured parties, and we wish them a speedy recovery. Initial reports suggest that the public protest initially intended to seek answers from the Newcastle Mayor, Xolani Dube, regarding the provision of water tankers, escalated into violence.”
It is truly disheartening to see such incidents unfold within our communities. While it is vital for the public to voice their concerns and demand accountability from their elected officials, resorting to violence undermines the very essence of peaceful protest and jeopardizes the safety and well-being of all involved, said MEC.
Furthermore, KwaZulu Natal asserted, “We acknowledge the urgency of the situation and understand the frustrations of the community of Charlestown. The issue of water scarcity is a matter that should be addressed promptly and efficiently by the Newcastle Municipality. We, therefore, urge the Newcastle Municipality to expedite the provision of water services to prevent further incidents where communities feel compelled to take matters into their own hands.”
In light of this regrettable incident, we’re calling upon the South African Police Service to conduct a thorough investigation into the events surrounding the altercations and the discharge of firearms. It is crucial to determine the circumstances under which the shots were fired and establish accountability for those responsible, said MEC.
Furthermore, the department wishes to appeal to the public to refrain from resorting to violence in their pursuit of service delivery. As the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, we will continue to closely monitor the situation and remain committed to supporting the Newcastle Municipality in its efforts to expedite the provision of water services to the affected communities. We call for unity, patience, and collaboration during this challenging time as we collectively work towards improving the lives and well-being of all residents.