An off-duty metro police officer was wounded after his car was allegedly shot multiple times at a community roadblock in Montclair, Durban, on Wednesday evening.
On Thursday, the head of the eThekwini Metro Police Department, Steve Middleton, called on community policing forums (CPFs) to remove their roadblocks.
In a social media post, Middleton shared a picture of the metro police officer and his car which was riddled with bullets.
“As much as you have a right to CPF structures through legislation, you have no right to do this to a metro police colleague. You have no right to block public roads. This is illegal,” he wrote.
Two metro police sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the officer was shot and wounded at a civilian roadblock in Halifax Road, Montclair, on Wednesday night.
It is understood he was on his way home when he was stopped at a blockade.
Middleton said in his post: “You have no right to limit access to any area. You have no right to determine where people can travel; you have no right to determine where people shop.
“Open up your public road barricades immediately, there are legislated procedures you can follow, but you have no right to limit access and egress to any area.”
While some have applauded communities for trying to safeguard properties against looting, there have been several allegations on social media that black people were being profiled and were the only ones being stopped at these roadblocks.
On Wednesday, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala commented on racial tension in the province, saying: “We are equally aware of threats where people are threatened and subjected to harassment in areas where they stay, but by the mere fact that those suburbs are white- or Indian-dominated, then you will get that there are people providing security.
“We don’t have a problem with that [the security], but if it is racialised, we will have a problem. As a result, I have called a meeting tomorrow with the CEOs of private security companies.”
The police and metro police were not immediately available for comment. However, the story will be updated once their comments have been received.