By Kaya 959 News
Seventy-two people have been killed in riots across Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. Police have also arrested over 1000 people.
NatJOINTS spokesperson, Colonel Brenda Muridili, said 683 people were arrested in Gauteng with 549 people in KZN.
She said with the recent deployment of the SA Defence Force members more boots have been on the ground to police the rampant elements of criminality perpetuated by the looting of businesses and destruction of property.
SAPS members were also recalled from leave and rest days.
“Since an instruction was issued by the NatJOINTS to other provinces that have not been affected, to operationalise their prevention operational plans, there has been a report from Mpumalanga of an incident of looting and destruction of property in the Matsulu policing precinct with one person in custody,” Muridili said.
Incidents in the Northern Cape
There has also been a report of two incidents in the Northern Cape, Galeshewe where one person has been arrested.
Law enforcement was deployed to Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape following threats of looting.
“Provincial commissioners have in the meantime also activated the SAPS social crime prevention strategy and have been engaging with various stakeholders including community-based organisations, traditional leaders and the business community in order to amplify current operational plans to best tackle the looting and destruction of property currently prevalent in Gauteng and KZN.
“Gauteng police are investigating 19 murder cases and 26 inquests while in KZN, 14 murder casess are under investigation and 13 inquests have been opened. The greater part of the inquest dockets relate to stampedes that occurred during incidents of looting of shops and malls; while other deaths and injuries were related to ATM explosions and shooting,” Muridili said.
Officers killed, injured
The SAPS, Defence and SSA as co-chairpersons of the NatJOINTS have condemned the attacks on law enforcement officers.
Ekurhuleni Metro Police officer, Meshack Mahlangu, was killed while seven police officers, four in Gauteng and three in KZN, were injured while responding to violent protests.
Police from Soweto operationalised information received from the Intelligence Coordinating Committee which led to the arrest of two on-duty Reservist Constables found in possession of property alleged to have been stolen during the incidents of looting of businesses in Soweto.
It is further alleged that the two suspects were found off-loading suspected stolen property from a state vehicle.
Muridili warned that while people are allowed to protect their property and lives, they should refrain from taking the law into their own hands.
“The NatJOINTS has commended the collaboration between the police and community through established platforms such as Community Policing Forums and Community in Blue. The public is urged to continue reporting crime on the Crime Stop number 08600 10111.”