Police are currently conducting investigations following an incident where two individuals were allegedly shot by Newcastle Mayor Xolani Dube’s bodyguards during protests in Charlestown.
The demonstrations, sparked by grievances over service delivery, escalated with the closure of the N11 highway and reports of trucks being set on fire and passing cars being targeted by stone-throwing protestors.
The shooting occurred during a community meeting attended by Mayor Dube and Deputy Mayor Musa Thwala, as they attempted to address concerns raised by approximately 500 residents.
Tensions escalated, leading to community members throwing stones at the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, prompting the bodyguards to open fire. One person suffered serious injuries to their back, while another sustained minor injuries to their arm and chest.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) has opened a case and identified the bodyguards as persons of interest. While no arrests have been made, investigations are ongoing. The N11 highway has since been reopened, and plans are in place for a subsequent meeting to address the community’s water needs.
In response to the incident, the Newcastle Municipality Communications Unit expressed disappointment over the misleading allegations surrounding the protest. Whereby they said that Mayor Dube, as a law-abiding citizen and leader, has instructed his security team to cooperate fully with authorities in the investigation.
The Newcastle Municipality urged media outlets to allow the SAPS to conduct their inquiry without interference.
Updates on the investigation will be provided once the SAPS finalises its findings.
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