Editor's note

Waterfront turf wars need closer inspection

Shots were fired and one man used his car as a battering ram, hitting at least two of the fighters

IT seems more could be read into the much discussed recent Richards Bay Waterfront brawl.

As could be seen on the video clip posted online, it was an out of control free-for-all as two groups of men piled into each other.

Shots were fired and one man used his car as a battering ram, hitting at least two of the fighters.

There are two significant factors which suggest that this was not a once-off violent dispute between testosterone charged young men settling a barroom squabble.

According to witnesses, similar scenes played out on the two previous weekends, while the Richards Bay police say not a single case was opened relating to these incidents.

More ominously is the claim by witnesses that the brawling was racially fuelled.

With the police not in a position to investigate an official docket, much of the information filtering through are speculative at best.

Yet, there is enough to imply that some kind of turf war is at play, seemingly between specifically white and Indian groups.

If this be true, the issue needs immediate scrutiny.

The Waterfront is a public space and the days of reserving facilities exclusively for one ethnic group are long gone. In fact, it is against the law.

There is a real threat that this conflict could quickly escalate.

It is simply unacceptable that this kind of violent gangland type behaviour is tolerated in a public recreational area which is frequented by residents and tourists – and more especially families with children – who might just be caught up in the crossfire.

One assumes that some form of increased police deployment will be undertaken at the Waterfront to ensure that the fight night commotions are nipped in the bud as a matter of urgency.

But apart from this, indications are that there is also a need to dig deeper at ground level to determine exactly what the real situation is and whether some establishments do indeed practise a silent form of racial segregation.

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