Soldiers, police keep an eye on Mamelodi after looting
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Pretoria - SANDF and SAPS members yesterday returned to Mamelodi to ensure peace and stability following the vandalism and looting that took place in several parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
Brigadier-General Gerald Pharo of the SANDF said reserve force regiments were deployed in the area to support the SAPS.
They patrolled, maintained visibility and kept an eye on Mams Mall, one of the few malls in Tshwane that was looted and vandalised. The mall has remained closed under the strict watch of the police and SANDF.
The regiments patrolled throughout the mall and also moved into the surrounding areas, where they looked for items that may have been stolen from the mall last week.
Pharo said they wanted to convey a positive message to communities and to show that the SANDF was in the area in service of the people.
He said that although their arrival proved challenging, there had been good co-operation at all levels between all stakeholders. He said their members were warmly received by people in the community.
“The community has not given us or the police any hassles and they have confided in us and given us their full co-operation in retrieving looted goods. In Gauteng we have only received positive feedback and have not received any news or hints of the communities we’re patrolling having any qualms with us.”
The police and military patrolled the community adjacent to Mams Mall, but only managed to retrieve a few items such as pipes for hubbly bubbly and a few bottles of cider which the residents handed over without any hassles.
Community members also came out in their numbers to witness what was taking place and what had been retrieved by the law enforcement officials.
One resident said they were happy the police and military were on hand to collect the items as they had been forced to travel further to get their shopping done after their mall was closed.
“Not all of us from this community took part in that looting, but we have all had to suffer because instead of walking to our mall we’ve had to go further to find shops. So I’m happy they are here to put an end to this violence and chaos,” she said.