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Police confirm reports of more looting incidents in flood-ravaged areas around Durban

Published Apr 13, 2022

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Durban - Metro Police have confirmed a number of looting incidents that were reported in parts of the eThekwini Metro on Tuesday.

Opportunists tried and, in some instances, succeeded in looting goods.

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Metro Police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad said they had responded to a number of looting incidents in areas surrounding Durban.

Sewpersad said they responded to the looting incident in the Prospecton area where people were looting goods out of displaced shipping containers, and reports of looting in Queen Nandi Drive, where informal shack dwellers were stealing items out of a truck.

“We also received reports about Mega City but what happened at Mega City was a little bit different because they tried and they couldn’t get into Mega City to loot,” Sewpersad said.

There were also reports of looting at a Pep Stores depot and other warehouses.

Opportunists tried and some succeeded in looting goods from these shipping containers. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

Commenting on the incidents, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala condemned reports of the looting of containers that were affected by the rains as the raging Umlazi River threw them onto the N2.

“We will not allow what is a tragic development in our province to be taken advantage of by criminals,” Zikalala said.

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“Law enforcement agencies have been deployed and we call on all law enforcement agencies to ensure that all property is protected from criminality, and that law and order is maintained during this period.”

DA spokesperson on police Andrew Whitfield said Police Minister Bheki Cele must ensure that looting incidents in KZN were dealt with immediately.

Cele is currently in the province with President Cyril Ramaphosa to offer support to affected communities and assess the response of government and civil society to this critical situation.

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Whitfield said the DA noted reports of looting that was starting to take place from trucks and containers in areas that had been affected by the floods in KZN.

He said the images were extremely disturbing, especially since they are “strongly reminiscent of the violence and looting that took place in the same province in July last year.”

“The DA calls on Police Minister Bheki Cele to immediately intervene and ensure that SAPS in KZN are on high alert and immediately clamp down on these incidents,” Whitfield said.

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“This province cannot afford the same catastrophic consequences of last year's unrest. We now know that at the time, the government, and especially the SAPS, has not been able to quell this unrest quickly and in a timely manner.”

“Under no circumstances can we allow this to happen again. Bheki Cele must immediately ensure that enough police are deployed in the affected areas and that any sign of illegal behaviour is dealt with immediately and decisively,” concluded Whitfield.

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