November 9, 2015

#BlackViolenceContinuesInSA: Residents fear for their lives as Jozini protest rages on

UPDATE: Jozini under siege

Ubombo residents and Bethesda Hospital are cut off as service delivery protests turned violent

UNDER the cover of darkness the couple walked home using a muffled torch light to see their way but conceal their presence.

This, as the Machibini community’s water and housing protest attracted a criminal element, turning violent at the weekend. All roads leading to Ubombo are blocked with debris. Ubombo’s supermarket shelves are almost bare, while available goods are being sold to customers through a locked security gate.

Bethesda Hospital’s patients are being flown in.

A traumatising experience

Out of supplies, a Ubombo resident and his wife went to the shop on Friday.

‘It was closed so we drove down the mountain on a disused dirt road,’ said the resident who asked not to be named. ‘On our way down we passed doctors and other people also using the road as a way out of Ubombo’.

En route, they saw cut down telephone poles and road signs to be used for the barricades and fires.

‘When we got to Jozini, the mall was closed so we started heading back home. The driver of another vehicle indicated which way to go so we followed him but he led us into an ambush. Our vehicle was pelted with rocks, bottles and cans. One bottle was thrown with such force that it dented my car’s door frame. Had it been 30mm lower, the bottle would have hit my head with full force’.

Turning around, the couple headed to Jozini police station to open a case.

They were advised to go to Mkhuze SAPS whose bullet proof vehicle would take them home.

‘Mkhuze SAPS told us the Ubombo road was a no-go zone, even for police, so they couldn’t take us home’.

Spending Friday night in Jozini, the couple was on Saturday night transported up the mountain by friends and dropped off about 3km from home. Without making a sound, the couple eventually arrived home where they will stay until the protests are over.