Police minister Bheki Cele says 116 people have been arrested in connection with looting at the Mamelodi Shopping Mall, east of Pretoria. Most of the mall’s 70 shops have been looted. This is just one of a few incidents reported in Tshwane since the start of the protests that escalated to looting and damage to property in some parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
Cele has urged South Africans to desist from vigilantism, asking them to work with police and other law enforcement agencies in combating crime. This as the number of fatalities linked to the ongoing violent looting countrywide reached the one-funded mark.
Cele addressed the media during a brief inspection of the Mamelodi Shopping Mall on Wednesday morning.
Cele says more police officers have been deployed to hotspots areas around Gauteng and Kwazulu-Natal in an effort to curb the ongoing looting and violence.
He says a group of people tried to burn a hospital with patients inside in Kwazulu-Natal. He says key areas such as airports have already been safeguarded.
“There are still those malls that are standing, we are trying to work hard that they remain standing like Maponya mall, generators house, Eskom and places where there are generators. Those are the places that we need to look at. KZN water reservoir are the places we are trying to work hard on them and airports. If you go to Tambo there is one place that is protected, King Shaka”
[ON THE GROUND] Police Minister General Bheki Cele is at MamsMall in Mamelodi Pretoria, where looting was cut short due to @SAPoliceService & community response. Cele says such areas will be safe guarded against more looting. #ProtectSA #RebuildSA pic.twitter.com/5AC15HmWzC
— Lirandzu Themba (@LirandzuThemba) July 14, 2021
Some South Africans have taken a stance against the looting amid concerns over job losses and food security.
Durban, Free State, Katlehong, Soweto and Mahikeng residents have been manning shopping centres in bid to protect property.
Update from Chris Hani Mall in Vosloorus with Sipho Kekana: