The artists who were involved in the N3 protest that brought traffic on the freeway to a standstill on Wednesday, have apologised for the inconvenience caused, but were optimistic that their plight was highlighted and heard.
They had closed off all lanes on both sides of the freeway, which is Durban’s major gateway, and called for President Cyril Ramaphosa to open the entertainment industry to 70% capacity.
Police fired tear gas and grenades at the crowd and arrested 32 of the protesters and impounded some of their vehicles.
They were released on R1000 bail each yesterday.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said the artists were expected to appear in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court on September 9.
“A total of 32 suspects aged between 20 and 46 were arrested during the protest and charged with contravening the National Road Traffic Act and Illegal Gathering Act,” said Gwala.
Some of the artists, after the protest was dispersed, had handed over a memorandum of grievances to officials at City Hall and called for Ramaphosa to respond to their demands as a matter of urgency.
Speaking on behalf of the artists, Thokozani Tzozo Zulu apologised to the motorists and everyone inconvenienced by the major traffic jam caused on the N3 near Spaghetti Junction.
“The intention was not to cause chaos, but the artists wanted to highlight their plight and do something about the fact that their families were starving since the lockdown was implemented close to six months ago.”
Zulu said they were eagerly awaiting Ramaphosa’s response to their demands.
DJ Tira posted a video on Wednesday saying that things were bad but they needed “to keep pushing against all odds”.