The SAPS in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, working closely with their respective local Metro Police Departments, have heightened visibility and remain on high alert in response to incidents of violent protests in the two provinces over the weekend.
Gauteng Police working closely with the JMPD last night responded swiftly to sporadic incidents of looting of businesses and barricading of roads in Jeppe and Alexandra, and arrested 25 suspects.
“In the Jeppe policing precinct, police dispersed a group of about 300 people who had barricaded the M2 freeway,” said police spokesperson Mathapelo Peters.
It is alleged that one group then headed to the Jeppestownwhere they looted a number of businesses.
“Seven suspects were arrested, four of whom were found inside one of the stores, while three were arrested for public violence and for being in possession of suspected stolen property,” said Peters.
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.
Peters said the police responded to information of a group of people from Alexandra who targeted and forced entry into businesses, and started looting.
“This group of about 800 people is reported to have attacked police resulting in the shooting of police officers who have now received medical attention, with only one in hospital in a stable condition.”
Police also dispersed a group in Bramley, near Alexandra.
Meanwhile Peters said an investigation is underway to determine the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of a 40-year old man who was certified dead at a local clinic.
“The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJOINTS) is working around the clock to enhance operational capacity at provincial level in response to incidents in which people appear to be undermining the authority of the State, including the flouting of the DMA Regulations,” added Peters.
Peters has issued a warning to those circulating inflammatory messages, inciting violence and lawlessness that they refrain from doing so.