62 suspects arrested in looting and violent incidents, NatJoints
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POLICE officials have arrested 62 suspects, following unrest and looting by hundreds of people, in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJoints) said on Sunday that SAPS and JMPD officials worked from Saturday night, in an attempt to halt incidents of business looting in Johannesburg.
Several streets were also blocked in parts of Johannesburg, in areas such as Jeppestown and Alexandra, with parts of the M2 highway affected.
In Alexandra, were looting incidents were reported, 25 suspects were arrested, according to police.
NatJoints said, in Jeppestown, about 300 people had barricaded roads and parts of the M2, and the group was believed to have left the area and had begun looting businesses. Seven suspects were arrested for this incident.
“Seven suspects were arrested, four of whom were found inside one of the stores, while three were arrested for public violence and for being in possession of stolen property,” the unit said.
“In Alexandra, police arrested 18 suspects, 16 of them for public violence – also linked to the shooting of a police officer, who was rushed to hospital for medical attention. Two other police officers sustained minor injuries,” said NatJoints.
The unit said efforts were also under way to determine the circumstances behind the fatal shooting of a 40-year-old man.
In KwaZulu-Natal, arrests have increased to 37, police said. This is where protest action began last week.
“SAPS, working closely with metro police, have, overnight, been able to disperse crowds and foil attempts to barricade roads. No further looting has been reported,” the unit said.
NatJoints said it was working hard to foil incidents in Gauteng and KZN, which have been deemed as attempts to undermine the law and the flouting of lockdown regulations.
JMPD said earlier that there were unconfirmed reports that the incidents were linked to #FreeJacobZuma protest. This movement was also believed to be behind sporadic protests and violent incidents in KZN.
Unconfirmed reports suggest the campaign is in support of former president Jacob Zuma, who began serving his 15-month prison sentence last week.
He was sentenced to prison by the Constitutional Court, for contempt of court, after he refused to appear at the Zondo Commission.
In reaction to the violence in KZN, President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for calm and for residents to stop undermining the rule of law. Rampahosa’s office said the actions seen in past few days could have a negative impact on the economy.