South Africa: Police Condemn Acts of Criminality in Jeppestown and Surroundings, and Also Call for Calm and Restraint Following Threats of Violence in Other Areas of the Province

press release

A total of forty-one (41) people have been arrested following incidents of looting and torching of buildings and vehicles since the early hours of Sunday morning, 01 September 2019 in Jeppestown and surrounding areas. This includes the initial four (4) 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 twenty-two (22) in Malvern. Eight (8) suspects were arrested inside one shop in Vusimuzi informal settlement in Tembisa.

This mayhem comes after three (3) people were on Sunday morning confirmed dead after an old building caught fire and the walls subsequently collapsed.

Police have condemned in the strongest of terms, the incidents of looting and torching of buildings and several cars from a second-hand dealership.

Gauteng Provincial Commissioner of Police, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela has described the incidents as blatantly lawless and inhumane.

"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," remarked the Provincial Commissioner.

Lieutenant General 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.

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