- Police officers and soldiers have raided Nguni Hostel in Vosloorus, looking for looted items.
- The items were stolen from surrounding shopping centres during the unrest two weeks ago.
- Among the recovered items were electrical appliances and furniture.
Heavy knocks on the door woke some Nguni Hostel dwellers up on Tuesday morning as police officers and SA National Defence Force (SANDF) soldiers raided it.
Soldiers and law enforcement officers were on a mission to recover stolen items looted during a week of unrest that saw businesses being targeted in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
The hostel is situated opposite Vosloorus police station.
Among the items recovered were groceries, cash, alcohol, electrical appliances and furniture.
Two weeks ago, shopping centres and other business were ransacked and some torched as residents in Vosloorus made off with various items.
By 08:00 on Tuesday, soldiers were positioned at all entrances leading in and out of the suburb.
Men and women in blue raided identified properties where the loot was hidden.
Some groceries and small appliances were hidden inside sofas, underneath beds and in ceilings.
The majority of raided homes were unoccupied and the police broke in using crowbars.
Several people, including a 35-year-old woman, were arrested.
She was found with groceries, new doors and two bins packed with food items and sanitary pads.
The woman confessed to the police she stole the items and planned to send them to her family in KwaZulu-Natal.
In one house, two large bags of dagga were found underneath a bed.
The owner of the unit was not at home. In another unit, police found stained banknotes and a male suspect was arrested.
A third suspect was found in possession of a large amount of cash.
The man gave police contradictory statements, first claiming the cash belonged to a burial society. He later changed his tune, saying the money was a donation from friends.
Resident Sebenzile Langa failed to produce a receipt for her new plasma TV and claimed she had bought it at a nearby furniture store in March.
Her pleas to the police fell on deaf ears and they confiscated her TV.
Taxi driver Mthobisi Sithole claimed he had hidden his daily takings under his bed and the money had disappeared.
"I had seven envelopes with cash I make daily. They have taken it while I was away. Police broke down my door and stole my cash. I want it and will open a case of theft against the police," Sithole said.
SANDF spokesperson Captain Thabo Sello said they were supporting the police.
"The operation was successful because we recovered most of the looted items stolen from surrounding shopping complexes. What we have observed is that all recovered items were registered.
"It was a clean operation. There were no confrontations between us, the police and residents. We were providing cover and adding numbers of people on the ground. We have been assisting the police, and should there be a requirement, we will continue assisting them," added Sello.