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WATCH: Looting suspects caught, cops on high alert amid Cape Flats struggle

Published Apr 15, 2020


Cape Town – Police have reinforced deployments at a number of areas on the Cape Flats after several burglaries, looting of grocery stores and public violence on Tuesday.

Police spokesperson Novela Potelwa said: “A group of about 16 suspects stormed a supermarket in Gatesville and threatened cashiers and took five cash registers with cash and groceries. 

"Athlone police responded promptly and four suspects aged between 21 and 24 were arrested and some stolen items recovered.

“Meanwhile in Manenberg, large crowds took to the streets and broke into two wholesalers in the township, helping themselves to grocery items. 

"Tracing operations by police to track the suspects and retrieve stolen items are currently under way,” said Potelwa.

She said public order police in Mitchells Plain dealt with

sporadic protests in Tafelsig.

Protesting residents of Tafelsig clashed with police yesterday. Picture: AP Photo

“Large crowds took to the streets in protest against food parcels distributed to some communities within the broader Mitchell’s Plain townships. 

"Tyres were burnt, roads barricaded and police pelted with stones. Three suspects aged 16, 18 and 20 were arrested for public violence,” she said.

Potelwa said officers will remain at identified locations until calm is restored.

“Western Cape SAPS management is cautioning communities against criminal conduct. The police will not hesitate to take decisive action against those breaking the law.”

Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)  

Subcouncil 12 chairperson Solomon Philander said people’s

livelihoods in Tafelsig were impacted by the lockdown and they needed to be helped.

“We are aware that in Tafelsig, Eastridge and many other townships people are living from hand to mouth. During this time, losing a means of income makes it difficult to survive. 

"No ward councillor has a disaster fund to give relief to the community, this is the function of Sassa (SA Social Security Agency),” Philander said.

Sassa spokesperson Shivani Wahab said: “Sassa offices were closed since the lockdown, and this has posed a challenge for clients whose grants expired in March, and were therefore unable to reapply. These grants have a lifespan of 12 months.”

Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)  

The clashes coincided with the postponement of court proceedings involving Emploweni residents in Khayelitsha, who face further demolition of their shacks.

Ndifuna Ukwazi organiser Nkosikhona Swartbooi said the Khayelitsha matter has been moved to tomorrow.

Residents are attempting to get an interdict to stop the City from tearing down their homes.

Mayco member for human settlements Malusi Booi said: “The law must follow its course as it pertains to any further legal actions in this regard.”

Cape Times

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