Cape Town cops have hands full with public violence and looting - several arrested

A general view of an attempted looting of a truck on the R300 between New Woodlands and Heinz Park in Cape Town. (Photo by Gallo Images/ Grant Pitcher)
A general view of an attempted looting of a truck on the R300 between New Woodlands and Heinz Park in Cape Town. (Photo by Gallo Images/ Grant Pitcher)

Police from various station precincts in Cape Town, supported by Public Order Police members, had their hands full quelling sporadic incidents of public violence and theft as stores were looted on Wednesday.

According to police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa, several arrests were made in a number of townships in the Cape Town metropole, with one incident on the West Coast.

In Elsies River, a supermarket on Halt Road was ambushed by a group of about 15 people who helped themselves to items valued at R3 000. Elsies River police responded promptly, arresting four people between the ages of 32 and 43 on charges of theft.

An attempt to break into a closed butchery in the area was thwarted as police dispersed the crowd.

Delft police who were conducting patrols in Delft South responded to an incident at 11:30 where 50 people stormed a supermarket and made off with grocery items valued at R4 000.

Police dispersed a large crowd that had gathered nearby. Tracing operations are still under way to track the perpetrators.

Wednesday's incident in Delft was preceded by three other incidents on Tuesday in Keerboom Street and on Delft Main Road where shops were looted. Five people between the ages of 26 and 31 were arrested for theft, Potelwa said.

Attempt to head to mall thwarted

In Samora Machel, Philippi East, police prevented a group from looting a delivery truck after barricades were place on the road on Wednesday at about 10:30.

The group was dispersed by police and they ran into the nearby Heinz Park. Their move to head towards the nearby Watergate Mall was also prevented.

Public Order Police, Philippi East police, Samora Machel police and the City of Cape Town's law enforcement officials responded to the incidents. Four people were arrested for public violence.

In Vredenburg, on the West Coast, police were pelted with stones by a group of between 300 and 400 residents from the Witteklip Township at 10:00 on Wednesday.

The group had earlier tried to storm a spaza shop after they complained about not getting food parcels. They also attempted to attack the house of a local councillor but police reacted swiftly and prevented the incidents from occurring.

Four people were arrested and charged for public violence. Police are keeping an eye on the situation.

"The Western Cape police wish to warn communities to respect the rule of law and refrain from engaging in unlawful conduct. Failure to act within the parameters of the law will leave the police with no option but to act decisively," Potelwa said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Voting Booth
Do you think South Africa has descended into a mafia state?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
No, that’s a bit extreme
6% - 150 votes
Yes, and it’s becoming normalised
94% - 2263 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.