Johannesburg - The police has taken action against the looters that have held the city of Johannesburg hostage for the past two days by increasing deployment to areas which have been identified as 'hot spots' of violence, resulting in several shops being looted and destroyed.
" Today the situation has been stabilised in parts of Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg Central, Jeppe and Cleveland policing areas. A total of 189 arrests have been effected since Sunday for criminal acts including public violence, malicious damage to property and theft. Five murders have also been reported, two in Corronationville, two in Hillbrow and one near the hostel at Jeppe," said Gauteng provincial police spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini in a statement released on Tuesday.
Dlamini said that in the early hours of Tuesday morning, police responded to areas of Germiston and Alexandra where 40 people were arrested and the number of arrests in Cleveland had risen to 66 suspects.
In Tokoza and Kempton Park, police fired rubber bullets to disperse a group of people who might have plans to loot businesses.
Dlamini said, "Criminal gangs who have taken advantage of the chaotic situation due to the outbreak of the violence that has been seen for the past few days, have been involved in breaking into businesses not only for those of the foreign national shops but businesses in general. Except cases of public violence, malicious damage to property and theft, there will be more focus on investigation of business breakings and theft. In the meantime police are identifying the leaders of these violent groups and will be arrested them once full evidence against them has been gathered."
Dlamini further stated that the Provincial Commissioner of Gauteng Lieutenant General Elias Mawela is thankful to those members of the public who are coming forward with information to assist the police in dealing with the violent situations and is also assuring members of the public that no unlawful activities will be tolerated.
“All our members are on the ground to deal with criminality”, Mawela said.
Threats of violence that have been making rounds in areas of Tshwane including Marabstad and Sunnyside has not materialised as more police deployments have been despatched to the areas. No violence has also been reported in Johannesburg and areas of Ekurhuleni.