Van Reenen’s Pass blocked as protesters threaten to set police station alight
Angry residents protesting at Van Reenen’s Pass on the N3 Toll route brought traffic to a standstill on Sunday.
Screengrab from video taken at the scene and shared on Twitter by @MambaBroodryk
Protesting community members have taken to Van Reenen’s Pass on the N3 toll route in KwaZulu-Natal, causing more than just a minor roadblock as they threaten to light up the local police station.
As the clock struck 1pm today, Van Reenen’s Pass became a no-go zone as traffic ground to a halt with burning tires blocking lanes.
Van Reenen’s Pass protest
Community members closed off the road due to the actions of the local member of the South African Police Service (Saps).
Speaking to Akheel Sewsunker at The Witness, a Citizen publication, RTI spokesperson Zinhle Mngomezulu said protesters are blocking the northbound carriageway only.
Dissatisfaction with Saps
Mngomezulu explained: “Someone was murdered in the area, and the Saps have made an arrest in the case, but the community is not happy with what was done by the Saps”.
Mngomezulu said the dissatisfaction has escalated to the point where protesters are threatening to set the local police station on fire if the arrested individual isn’t released.
Despite law enforcement officials making their presence felt at the scene, traffic remains stacked at the scene and the protest shows no sign of abating.
Van Reenen’s Pass traffic disruptions
Motorists are urged to delay their travel plans as both directions of the route are currently engulfed by the demonstration.
As one netizen remarked, it’s a “total standstill coming from Johannesburg”. For those already on the move, the Bergville route seems to be the clear alternative for now.
Mngomezulu said the police station at Van Reenen’s pass is on the northbound side of the N3 toll route, and this is the side that is being affected.
Construction along the route
In separate news, roadwork is currently underway at Cedara.
Therefore, drivers are advised to exercise caution when passing through various spots including:
- between Howick and Lions River,
- between Tugela Plaza and Van Reenen Pass, and
- between Vaaldraai and De Hoek Plaza.