Gauteng Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, has described as blatantly lawless and inhumane, the violent looting of shop incidents across the province.
In a statement, the police said 41 people have been arrested following incidents of looting and torching of buildings and vehicles since the early hours of Sunday.
“This includes the initial four who were arrested on Sunday for public violence, whilst the rest were arrested after they were found in some of the shops busy looting and/or in possession of stolen items, and 22 in Malvern. Eight suspects were arrested inside one shop in Vusimuzi informal settlement in Tembisa,” he said.
Provincial spokesperson, Brigadier Mathapelo Peters, said the mayhem came after three people were on Sunday morning confirmed dead after an old building caught fire and the walls subsequently collapsed.
“It is a sad day when people choose to capitalise on the misfortune of others to advance anarchy or criminality. Three people perishing in a burning, collapsing building can never justify what is now happening in Jeppestown, Malvern and surrounding areas. With such a tragedy, the community should be uniting to assist those affected instead of seeing an opportunity to commit crime,” said the Provincial Commissioner in the statement.
Mawela has further called upon members of the public to refrain from inciting violence whereby police have noted with concern, threats of violence circulating on social media.
“Those who are hell-bent on turning Gauteng into a crime haven will be found and will face the full might of the law,” the Commissioner warned.
Law enforcement agencies together with Emergency and Fire Services are on the ground to ensure that the situation is contained and normality restored.
Meanwhile, police are also on high alert and monitoring the area in Reiger Park and Oakmore in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni following sporadic attacks earlier this morning on some shops.
In a separate incident in Tembisa, police recovered two firearms at the scene of a business robbery where two armed suspects were fatally shot and the victim believed to be the shop-owner, rescued. The firearms will be tested for possible linkage to previous crimes. – SAnews.gov.za