Tebogo Msimanga |
The SAPS in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal say they have heightened visibility and remain on high alert in response to incidents of opportunistic criminality and violent protests in the two provinces over the weekend.
Gauteng Police arrested 25 suspects in Jeppe and Alexandra on Saturday night. In the Jeppe policing precinct, police dispersed a group of about 300 people who had barricaded the M2 freeway. It is alleged that one group then headed to Jeppestown where they looted several businesses.
Colonel Brenda Muridili said in Alexandra, police arrested 18 suspects – 16 of them for public violence also linked to the shooting of a police officer who was rushed to hospital for urgent medical attention. She said two police officers sustained minor injuries.
Meanwhile, in KZN where incidents of violent protests started on Friday, the number of arrests has increased to 37 thus far. “Police working closely with Metro Police have overnight, been able to disperse crowds and foil attempts to barricade roads. No further looting has been reported.”
Muridili further said a warning is issued to those circulating inflammatory messages, inciting violence and lawlessness, that they refrain from doing so. “The possibility of criminal charges being instituted against such persons cannot be ruled out, particularly in the event of injury or death that may come as a result of any operational response by the security forces to these incidents of violence and opportunistic criminality.”