By Kaya 959 Reporter
An operation to clean up the streets of the city landed the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) on the wrong side of the Twitter streets.
On Monday, social media users slammed the JMPD for taking items belonging to vendors who sell their goods along pavements in the Johannesburg CBD.
JMPD said the operation was to ensure that traders were complying with City of Johannesburg bylaws and desist from overcrowding.
A high-density by-law operation was conducted in Yeoville, Kensington, Fordsburg, Hillbrow and Doornfontein.
To avoid impoundment please apply for Street Trading Permit at the @CityofJoburgZA local municipality.
— Jo'burg Metro Police Department – JMPD (@JoburgMPD) August 16, 2021
Fruit, vegetables and other items including shoes and clothing were confiscated.
According to JMPD spokesperson, Chief Superintendent Wayne Minaar, police were acting in accordance with the Disaster Management Act regarding concerns around overcrowding in Johannesburg.
“The Disaster Management Act says people must maintain a social distance of at least 1.5metres, but in the CBD, individuals are congesting the areas on the pavements. This operation had to be done,” he said.
Minaar said overcrowding is a serious problem. Vendors can get their goods back after paying an impound fee of between R1600 and R3500.
Social media reaction
Unhappy with the operations, Twitter users took to social media to slam police.
Twitter user @mthelucious said: ‘They must chase them with a warning not take their foods. This is sad.’
They must chase them with a warning not take their foods. This is sad 😔
— Mamiza❤️😍 (@mthelucious) August 16, 2021
Another user, @nomkhokho, commented: ‘Such cruelty wena. This people are making a living. There are so many ways they could have handled this.’
Such cruelty wena. This people are making a living. There are so many ways they could have handled this. 🤔🤔
— Mazet 💖💖 (@Thee_Mazet__) August 16, 2021
“Why are we harsh on such and turning a blind eye on human trafficking, murder and rape? Is it because they are competition for the established large entities?” @Elveroni asked.
— Mbaku! (@Elveroni) August 16, 2021
User @NontandoLwandle wrote: “Ndiyakuva but it’s painful to watch. Worse ke coz the same government is failing us. It’s also their officials who let these goods in.”
Ndiyakuva but it's painful to watch. Worse ke coz the same government is failing us. It's also their officials who let these goods in
— MaThole (@NontandoLwandle) August 16, 2021
@lkmasuku said the city needed new officers.
“Dear Mr @Julius_S_Malema. When the EFF takes power we want new police officers. These ones are broken, it is as if they do not come from the same communities as us. Regards.”
Dear Mr @Julius_S_Malema
When the EFF takes power we want new police officers. These ones are broken, it is as if they do not come from the same communities as us.
— Skhumbasenjendala (@lkmasuku) August 16, 2021
Main image credit: JMPD/Twitter