Protest action and blocking of roads in Mthatha

UPDATE AT 3.30pm (voice of Unathi Binqose, Department of Transport spokesperson):


The situation in Mthatha is tense with many roads coming into and out of Mthatha still closed since this morning, South African Police Service spokesperson Captain Priscilla Naidu reports.

“Currently the main road which is the N2 and the R61 [are] closed. Motorists are advised to use alternative routes and to avoid these roads.”

Naidu said five suspects were arrested at about 10am today after, shots were fired at Public Order Policing and Mthatha Vispol members. Two suspects sustained injuries while the other three were arrested. Two firearms were also confiscated. A case of attempted murder and possession of firearms has been opened for further investigation.

“Public Order Policing, the National Intervention Unit and Tactical Response Teams are in Mthatha policing the situation,” Naidu said.

Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Nomthetheleli Mene warned people circulating videos and messages that appeared to incite unrest: “Such actions are not only irresponsible but also illegal,” Mene said. “We will take strict action against anyone found to be engaging in activities that threaten the safety and security of the public and the integrity of the election process.”