- Criminal elements used service delivery protests to loot, police say.
- A warehouse was torched during the protests.
- Police have also arrested people for contravening the Disaster Management Act.
At least 20 suspects have been arrested following violent protests in areas around Eden Park, Thokoza, Phola Park, and Reiger Park in Johannesburg.
The arrests followed incidents of violence, which erupted during sporadic service delivery demonstrations related to electricity cuts around the areas on Wednesday afternoon, police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said.
"Criminal elements took advantage of the protests and attacked and looted three shops in Eden Park. A warehouse was also torched," Peters said.
Six of the 20 arrested suspects were found in possession of suspected stolen property related to looting, while 14 others were arrested for contravention of the Disaster Management Act for movement between 21:00 and 04:00.
Peters said police deployment had been intensified to the areas since Wednesday evening.
She said the situation in the areas remained "calm but tense" as cops continued monitoring the situation to ensure no violence erupted again.
Police warned residents with criminal intentions not to use service delivery protests as opportunities to commit crime and stir violence in communities.
The residents of phola park in thokoza under ekhurheleni didn't have electricity more than a month now and the municipality is not interested because people are vandalizing the government property and now they blaming somalians of lack of job opportunities @Julius_S_Malema pic.twitter.com/Y5DrVb3ppX— Bongani Motsoeneng (@BonganiKgiba) July 29, 2020