Po­lice de­nounce an­ar­chy

“Tak­ing the law into your own hands is tan­ta­mount to an­ar­chy and as the po­lice, we will not stand by and let law­less­ness to reign.”

Inner City Gazette - - News - By Staff Re­porter [email protected]­ner-city-gazette.co.za

Po­lice re­main on high alert this morn­ing mon­i­tor­ing the in­ci­dents of loot­ing, vi­o­lence and gen­eral law­less­ness that have left three peo­ple dead and 27 ar­rested in some parts of Soweto.

Po­lice have in­ten­si­fied de­ploy­ments and will re­main on the ground mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion closely to en­sure that law and or­der are main­tained, said Act­ing Na­tional Com­mis­sioner, Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Le­beoana Ja­cob Tsumane, who con­demned the in­ci­dents on Thurs­day.

“Tak­ing the law into your own hands is tan­ta­mount to an­ar­chy and as the po­lice, we will not stand by and let law­less­ness to reign.

“I am call­ing on the com­mu­nity lead­ers and the com­mu­nity at large to re­claim their streets by part­ner­ing with the po­lice in the fight against any crim­i­nal­ity,” said Tsumane.

On Wed­nes­day, mul­ti­ple shops be­long­ing to for­eign na­tion­als were looted by res­i­dents dur­ing spo­radic at­tacks in White City, Jab­u­lani, Dob­sonville, Naledi, Protea and Protea Glen.

Goods, in­clud­ing gro­ceries worth thou­sands of rands, were re­ported stolen af­ter the first in­ci­dent broke out in White City over ex­pired food be­ing sold in for­eign-owned shops.

Most for­eign shop own­ers have packed up and left Soweto, while some vic­tims have sought refuge at Moroka po­lice sta­tion.

Gaut­eng po­lice spokesper­son Colonel Lun­gelo Dlamini, who con­demned the in­ci­dents, said dur­ing the vi­o­lent at­tacks and the loot­ing three peo­ple were killed in White City. There is also another per­son in hospi­tal be­ing treated for a gun­shot wound.

Dlamini said they have ar­rested at least 27 sus­pects for var­i­ous crimes in­clud­ing mur­der, attempted mur­der, pos­ses­sion of un­li­censed firearms and pub­lic vi­o­lence.

Two un­li­censed firearms were also seized and more ar­rests are ex­pected.

“More ar­rests can be ex­pected as po­lice em­bark on op­er­a­tions to ap­pre­hend those re­spon­si­ble for per­pet­u­at­ing law­less­ness, and also to re­trieve the stolen prop­erty,” he said.

Gov­ern­ment has en­cour­aged the pub­lic to seek law­ful means to en­gage or ad­dress is­sues of pub­lic in­ter­est.

While not­ing with con­cern the es­ca­lat­ing un­law­ful loot­ing, gov­ern­ment re­it­er­ated that such ac­tiv­i­ties are un­law­ful and criminal in na­ture.

“Gov­ern­ment urges mem­bers of com­mu­ni­ties to re­frain from tak­ing the law into their own hands and co-op­er­ate with the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties by re­port­ing or lodg­ing com­plaints about un­safe goods and prod­ucts.

“Rel­e­vant gov­ern­ment en­ti­ties, in­clud­ing mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, have em­barked on a process of in­spect­ing small busi­nesses, in­clud­ing food out­lets and spaza shops. We, there­fore, ap­peal to mem­bers of the pub­lic to co­op­er­ate by re­port­ing fake or sub­stan­dard goods,” Act­ing GCIS Direc­tor-Gen­eral Phumla Wil­liams said.

Wil­liams added that gov­ern­ment has a zero-tol­er­ance ap­proach to cor­rupt ac­tiv­i­ties and the sell­ing of fake items falls within cor­rupt ac­tiv­i­ties and robs the peo­ple of their hu­man dig­nity.

She said sub­stan­dard and fake goods, es­pe­cially con­sum­ables, car­ries po­ten­tial risks and dan­ger to hu­man health.

“We urge the law en­force­ment agen­cies to take swift ac­tion against es­tab­lish­ments that are re­spon­si­ble for man­u­fac­tur­ing such goods and prod­ucts,” Wil­liams said, while ap­peal­ing to com­mu­ni­ties to al­low rel­e­vant de­part­ments and other state agen­cies an op­por­tu­nity to ad­dress the on­go­ing con­cerns.

Peo­ple who may have wit­nessed these in­ci­dents are urged to re­port to po­lice by call­ing the Crime Stop 08600 10111 or re­port­ing to the near­est po­lice sta­tion.

Soweto res­i­dents pounce on for­eign owned shops af­ter shop own­ers packed up and left Soweto as loot­ing es­caleted.

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