Why aren't 'criminals behind bars', asks 'deeply hurt' Mashaba after Joburg shop owners attack cops

2019-08-02 11:41
City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba. (Sydney Seshibedi, Galle Images, file)

City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba. (Sydney Seshibedi, Galle Images, file)

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Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba says he is "deeply hurt" and "devastated" that no arrests have been made after a group of shop owners in the CBD vandalised three police vehicles on Thursday.

"I am deeply hurt and devastated to wake up this morning to learn that not a single criminal is arrested after the blatant disregard of our country’s laws yesterday in the Inner City.

"I would have expected the city to have been closed off and all criminals behind bars by now," Mashaba tweeted on Friday morning.

Police in Johannesburg are investigating a case of malicious damage to property following the incident. This after officers conducted raids on shops in Jeppe Street, which were allegedly selling fake goods.

However, police said the owners retaliated, preventing them from confiscating the goods. The owners then chased police officials down the street, throwing stones at them.

In videos going viral on social media, the crowd can be seen shouting and throwing stones at a police Nyala which is trying to drive away from the scene.

Johannesburg Central Police Station spokesperson Xoli Mbele said among the goods sold in the shop were "fake" versions of sportswear brands such as Nike, Puma and Adidas.

READ: WATCH: Joburg shop owners turn on cops trying to confiscate 'fake' goods

Mbele said rubber bullets had to be used to disperse the crowd. No one was injured and no arrests had been made, he added.

'Acts of anarchy and lawlessness'

Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko has condemned the attacks on the police and members of other law enforcement agencies, saying the rule of law was being undermined.

Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela said: "Such lawlessness cannot be allowed to go unpunished."

In a statement issued on Friday, the ANC said it was "disturbed" by the acts of criminality which took place in the CBD.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms the attacks on our law enforcement officers," party spokesperson Pule Mabe said.

"The attack on our law enforcement officers is an attack on our state and sovereignty and must never go unpunished. Not only does this undermine the rule of law, it also poses a serious threat to the security of our state."

The ANC in Gauteng also released a statement on Friday, condemning in the "strongest possible terms acts of anarchy and lawlessness that played themselves out in the Joburg city centre yesterday [Thursday]".

The party called on the law enforcement agencies and the relevant government departments to not be intimidated and to respond "firmly to rooting out lawlessness".   

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Read more on:    herman mashaba  |  johannesburg  |  crime
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