Durban - The Durban Metro Police thanked all its members, members of the SAPS and private security companies for their hard work in ensuring Monday's national shutdown was conducted safety.
Metro Police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Boysie Zungu, said Metro Police’s mandate was simply to maintain law and order and ensure all citizens of eThekwini were able to safely exercise their democratic rights.
“While there were isolated incidents of criminality and attempts like the placing of tyres at strategic points to potentially burn them during demonstrations, the Durban Metro Police members working with UIP (Urban Improvement Precincts) dealt with these elements of criminality profusely.
We are at all times a constitutional democracy.
“Today (Monday) was a spectacular demonstration of just how strong our democracy is. We would therefore like also to thank protesters for adhering to our laws,” said Zungu.
In a statement on Monday, National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said at least 550 people were arrested in various provinces.
“The Natjoints has at 10pm on March 20, 2023, arrested more than 550 protesters for, among others, public violence, intimidation, damage to critical infrastructure, theft and attempted looting.
“In those arrested, Gauteng recorded the highest number of arrests with 149, the Northern Cape recorded the second highest number with 95 arrests, the Eastern Cape also saw 80 protesters arrested, followed by Free State with 64 arrests,” she said.
Mathe said the number of tyres that were confiscated throughout the country remains at 24 300. These were tyres that were strategically placed for acts of criminality, such as blocking roads.
“The Natjoints wishes to thank various stakeholders from members of the public and the business fraternity for working together with law enforcement to uphold and enforce the law,” she said.