Cele urges communities not to take matters into their own hands as looting continues

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Police Minister Bheki Cele says people should refrain from taking matters into their own hands in the name of protecting their properties as looting grips Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

As police officers have had their hands full trying to contain sporadic looting in parts KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, some neighbourhoods have formed their own protection services, armed with guns and other weapons.

Speaking in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, after the army was deployed there, Cele said communities should rather work alongside policing forums.

“Well it is mob justice, I do not have that word, I have vigilantism when people take law into their own hands. What we are encouraging and it is still happening in KwaZulu-Natal, is that the communities, they work around the law enforcement agencies.”

“If you work with the soldiers, you work with the police, there’s your community police forum (CPF), your community in blue, those that work with the police station. We are fine with that. But the problem starts when they go for parallel structures; they go themselves and shoot the people and all that,” adds Cele.

A traffic jam of motorists making their way to loot Durban factories:

SANDF deployment

On Monday, government deployed members of the South African Defence Force (SANDF) to riots’ hotspots.

Now, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and senior SANDF officials have been summoned to parliament for an urgent meeting.

They will appear before Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Wednesday.

The committee has expressed support for the deployment of soldiers to restore law and order in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

It will receive a briefing on the security situation in the country and other related matters from the ministry.

Joint Committee co-chairperson Elleck Nchabeleng says they want to ascertain the role of the SANDF in maintaining compliance with the rule of law in the two provinces when they meet on Wednesday evening.

Role of the SANDF deployed in parts of Gauteng and KZN: