The worst was being feared as aggrieved protesters took to the streets in Pietermaritzburg but in doing so next to the newly built shopping mall.
PROTESTERS MOVE CLOSER TO REOPENED MALL
Brookside Mall was reopened this week after a year of construction. This was because it fell victim to the 2021 KZN July unrest which left the city in a state of disarray.
Protesting over power-related issues, was Jika Joe informal dwellers who blocked roads earlier today, Friday, 23 September.
STREETS THAT WERE AFFECTED BY THE RIOT
According to AET Security, the affected routes were Manor, Prince Alfred, Burger, Loop and East streets.
The company also reported on the movement towards the mall in the lower CBD.
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“Protesters are now blocking Manning Avenue opposite Brookside Mall with burning debris. Please avoid this route.”
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However, no reports of destruction of private property were reported. This is thanks to the AET Security, Police, Municipal security and Public Order police whose members kept a watchful eye on the activities on the ground.
BROOKSIDE MALL BOUNCE BACK AFTER UTTER DESTRUCTION
The chaotic scenes that played out during the unrest which stemmed from former President Jacob Zuma’s arrest, saw not only the looting of Brookside Mall but the torching of the building as well.
This mall attained ever-lasting fame after its destroyed structure went viral on local and international news due to the fire.
The reconstruction of it began late last year but its inevitable closure hurt the pockets of locals who then had to travel to the CBD to complete their shopping needs.
The ceremonious reopening of the mall took place on Wednesday, 21 September. Among the attendees was Msunduzi Municipality Mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla, who delivered the keynote address.
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“The local economic development impact and job opportunities to be generated by this reopening will go a long way mitigating the negative impact of the local economic data caused by Covid-19 such as job losses, business fraught etc,” he said in welcoming the mall back.