‘We Are No Longer Safe, We Must Review City Hall security’ – Durban Mayor


Durban’s mayor, James Nxumalo has angrily lashed out at the Durban city management, accusing it of not taking security seriously. He said this following recent disruption of most prominent meetings in the city.

The mayor who is very concerned at the growth of public harassment in the municipal said the city management was not at its best in securing the lives of residents.

The city has twice last month, recorded disruptions of meetings by some angry group. In one occasion, a group of disgruntled municipal bodyguards barged into a meeting of the city’s executive committee – a powerful decision-making body made up of the city’s highest-ranking politicians- requesting for increase of their salaries.

The 80 members of the city’s VIP protection unit which included Nxumalo’s own bodyguard, poured into the committee meeting room, holding up proceedings for about 45 minutes.

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There were also rumours that taxi bosses and drivers planned to disrupt yesterday’s meeting as part of protest action in the city.

To these acts, Nxumalo lashed out on the management who were meant to maintain law and order in the municipality. He said “I don’t think you’re taking this seriously. We must review city hall security. You can get in here any time.”

Pointing out the unsecured nature of the city hall, Nxumalo further said “City hall is not safe. Anyone can do anything at any time. People can force their way inside. Anyone can come in and shoot inside because there is no proper security management,” he said at the beginning of yesterday’s meeting.”

To this, political figureheads said they were worried about their safety, and even questioned the discipline and trustworthiness of the guards.

Related to this, the city’s workers were on Wednesday March 30 left stranded as taxi drivers unanimously went on strike.

Groups of people were seen forcefully moving people out of the buses in the name of a protest.

“There are a group of people, claiming to be taxi drivers or owners, who are going around the city, pulling people from taxis and buses,” Mchunu said. “We are responding but they are moving around so as to avoid us.” Metro police spokesman, Superintendent Sibonelo Mchunu reportedly said.

The reason for Wednesday’s action was unclear and Mchunu was not sure what the strikers were seeking. But a post on Facebook said taxi associations were opposed to the impounding of taxis for not having permits even though they had an agreement with the authorities that this would not happen as permits were being delayed by the transport licensing board.

What Nxumalo is possibly clamoring for is peaceful protest. Of course no one is against protests but most strong objections shouldn’t necessarily be violent.

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