Guests at a holiday resort in northern KwaZulu-Natal had to be evacuated after an armed mob stormed the grounds and vandalised facilities on Friday morning.
It is understood that the people, numbering in the hundreds and many of whom were armed with pangas, had pulled down a perimeter fence before swarming the Natal Spa resort near Vryheid.
Police sources said the mob had threatened staff members, warning them to vacate their posts or face violence.
Guests were transported from the resort under guard while police negotiated with the mob.
Manager Henk Barnard told TimesLIVE that an employment dispute was at the heart of the attack.
“It’s a long story, but we are hearing rumours that the crowd was unhappy about the dismissal of certain staff [and] others were unhappy that they are not employed,” he said.
“They want some of the managers to leave the resort and they had a list of demands that they had compiled on December 14. We obviously were unable to meet these demands and that is why they raided us.”
Barnard said the guests had not been in danger but had been evacuated as a precaution.
“The crowd didn’t do anything inside the resort and they didn’t threaten the guests, but we evacuated them anyway.
“Police came from Ulundi and dispersed the crowd and made arrests. Things are quiet now but we’re afraid about what is going to happen tonight,” he added.
Police spokeswoman Col Thembeka Mbele had not responded to questions at the time of publishing.