On Sunday night, 54 people were arrested in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) in connection with a violent protest along the N3 freeway near the Mooi River toll plaza.
KZN police spokesperson, Colonel Thembeka Mbhele, said the suspects are to appear at the Mooi River Magistrate's Court on Monday.
He said that at around 19.30 on Sunday a group of people began throwing objects on the N3 freeway before setting trucks alight, in total, 35 trucks were damaged.
"It is believed that the people who were protesting and throwing stones, as well as burning objects, had caused extensive damages to property.
"Local police and neighbouring police stations were mobilised and dispersed a number of people who were looting the burning trucks. A total of 54 people were arrested and will face a charge of public violence," said Mbhele.
The situation was calm on Monday morning, according to Mbhele, although the road was still blocked by the burned trucks.
"Police are still monitoring the situation and are on high alert. Traffic is being diverted onto alternative routes for now," he said.
The violence is apparently in response to the employment of foreign nationals as truck drivers, according to reports.
The incident has been condemned by KZN acting provincial commission, Major General Bheki Langa.
He said, "This is totally unacceptable and we will not condone people venting their anger by damaging private and public property or blockading our national roads.
"We will intensify our operations and ensure that those responsible face the full might of the law. Any person who blocks our national roads will be treated as an ordinary criminal and will face the full might of the law.
"People should not resort to violence to express their grievances."
The N3 Toll Concession on Twitter has urged motorists to drive safely and traffic on the N3 has been diverted to the R103.
This incident come after angry protesters barricaded the route heading toward the Mooi River toll plaza earlier this month.
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