Soldiers patrol the looted and vandalised Diepkloof Square in Soweto. Photo: Tebogo Letsie/City Press
Members of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) made their presence felt on the streets of Johannesburg on Tuesday as President Cyril Ramaphosa embarked on consultations with leaders of society on how to respond to the ongoing violence and destruction that has engulfed parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
The two provinces have been on high alert since riots began over the weekend, following the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma. The rioters targeted trucks along highways before moving to loot malls, shops and depots.
READ: Are former state security agents with links to Zuma instigating the violence?
During a media briefing on Tuesday, the justice, crime prevention and security cluster indicated that all law enforcement and security agencies “are working together to ensure public order policing, patrolling in identified hotspot areas and protecting key public and private infrastructure that is targeted by the perpetrators of violence”.
By Tuesday, 1 230 suspects had been arrested in connection with public violence and looting – 547 suspects in KwaZulu-Natal, while 683 suspects were in custody in Gauteng. The death toll from the violence stood at 72.
No store was spared at Diepkloof Square in Soweto, with only clothing hangers and rubble left strewn on the floor after the looting sprees. Photo: Tebogo Letsie/City Press
Shelves left bare by looters at the Pick n Pay store at Diepkloof Square. Photo: Tebogo Letsie/City Press
ATM machines were pulled out of the wall by looters at Diepkloof Square in Soweto. Photo: Tebogo Letsie/City Press
Meanwhile, in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, SANDF members take to the streets to try to restore calm to the township. Photo: Rosetta Msimango/City Press
Soldiers assist the SA Police Service in apprehending looting suspects at Pan Africa Shopping Centre in Alexandra. Photo: Rosetta Msimango/City Press
Some members of society, including the EFF, have asked President Ramaphosa to justify the deployment of the SANDF and whether it was needed. Photo: Rosetta Msimango/City Press
Police Minister Bheki Cele inspects the damage at Pan Africa Shopping Centre in Alexandra and later engaged with community members. Photo: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS