Businesses were forced to close on Friday as protests erupted in Kwazulu Natal (KZN) province over the arrest of South Africa’s former president Jacob Zuma.
Reports suggest that many roads across the KZN province, particularly the N2 and N3 highways, were on Friday morning due to protests.
Although it has not been confirmed, KZN police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said during a live broadcast on SAfm that the protests may be a result of the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma.
Mbhele said that police will monitor the situation and will try to unblock some of the carriageways.
The Ruth First Highway or M4 has been closed off as well on the north- and southbound lanes between uMhlanga and Sibaya, as well as the N2/R34 four-way in Richards Bay, KZN Traffic, a local Facebook page, confirmed.
The protests have also turned violent, with participants burning tyres and stoning vehicles that try to pass. Trucks have also been used to block off roads.
Metro police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Parbhoo Sewpersad was quoted as saying in a report in The Witness that at least five major roads have been shut down.
Sewpersad added that Metro police officers are on the scene and are diverting drivers away from the protests.
Parts of the Durban central business district have also been closed off due to the protests.
The M4 near Beach Bums, a popular restaurant on the North Coast, has also been closed off at Genezzano Road. KZN Traffic said:
_It’s been a busy morning with protest action all over KZN. We are trying our best to keep you updated._
_Vehicles were being stoned on the N3 by the Pavilion trying to petrol-bomb a truck now. N2 southbound before M7 protesters blocking the road and lighting fires. N2 South at the Gateway on-ramp tyre treads on the fast lane._
Zuma’s daughter, Dudu Zuma-Sambudla, took to Twitter this morning to share videos of the protests in support of the release of Zuma.
Zuma has been in prison since Wednesday night after he was convicted of contempt of court for refusing to appear at the Zondo Commission of enquiry that is investigating him for corruption.