KZN Cogta offices burned to the ground in suspected arson attack

These had been previously attacked by petrol-bomb hurling protesters

KZN Cogta offices burned to the ground in suspected arson attack

14 March 2019

The KwaZulu-Natal cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) department has condemned a suspected arson attack on its offices in Mayville, Durban.

The attack on Thursday morning burned the offices to the ground.

"This is a direct sabotage of the state infrastructure which ends up having dire consequences on innocent residents who rely on government services such as the ones provided by our department," MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube said.

The offices were previously attacked on Tuesday by protesters who apparently hurled petrol bombs, causing minor damage.

Protests over land are thought to be the source of the violence with roads previously blocked and cars attacked.

Dube-Ncube said the reasons behind the attack were "unknown but are believed to be related to a public protest by informal settlement dwellers and land invaders due to government's crackdown on lawlessness".

"We are calling upon law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of the perpetrators of this dastardly deed.

"The Mayville offices house sections of the department's administration and [are] believed to have been a random target," she said.

Previous robbery

Dube-Ncube said the same offices were robbed by a group of armed gunmen last November. They stole several television screens and computers from the building. The gunmen also hijacked a KwaZulu-Natal Cogta employee's vehicle which was later recovered in Newlands.

"This attack which took place in the early hours of this morning (Thursday) is a serious threat to the safety of our staff members who have already gone through a lot.

The MEC further called upon surrounding communities to come forward with any information that could lead to the apprehension of suspects.

"[They] should be made an example of so as to deter others from destroying state property."