M2 highway closed off as unrest sweeps through Joburg CBD
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Johannesburg - SAPS and Joburg metro police officers have been dispatched to parts of the Joburg CBD on Sunday as unrest swept through parts of the city.
The Joburg metro police confirmed that parts of the M2 highway had to be closed early on Sunday as gunshots were being fired at passing vehicles.
JMPD spokesperson Xolani Fihla said the gun shots were being fired from the Denver and George Goch hostels. A building had also been set on fire in Jeppestown.
“At the present moment, the M2 has been closed off near Cleveland. We have received reports of gunshots being fired at passing vehicles so it had to be closed off.
“The vehicles are being diverted to Maritzburg Street and Cleveland Road. Inside the areas of Jeppestown and Denver, there was also sporadic unrest, so officers were deployed and we do have a high police presence in the areas. In Berea, there are also reports of protests and police are present,” he said.
Fihla said there have been no reports of injuries or arrests linked to the protests which were suspected to be linked to the #FreeZuma campaign.
The protests started on Saturday night, according to officials.
A looting incident in Alexandra on Saturday night near the Pan African Mall was attended to by police. It was suspected the incident could be linked to the unrest.
“At the moment we have not received reports of arrests. Last night, there was looting in Alexandra near the Pan Africa Mall and some looters were arrested. We cannot confirm the motives but it is suspected that its people linked to the #FreeZuma campaign,” he said.
The #FreeZuma campaign has its origins in KwaZulu-Natal where incidents of trucks being set alight on N3 were reported last week.
Unconfirmed reports suggest the campaign is in support of former president Jacob Zuma who began serving his 15 months prison sentence this past week.
He was sentenced to prison by the Constitutional Court for contempt of court after he refused to appear at the Zondo commission on inquiry.
In reaction to the violence in KZN, President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday called for calm and for residents to stop undermining the rule of law.
Rampahosa’s office said the actions seen in the past few days could have a negative impact on the economy.