Riots in Gauteng draining police resources

Tshwane police monitoring the Pretoria CBD intersections following last week's protests. File Photo.
Tshwane police monitoring the Pretoria CBD intersections following last week's protests. File Photo.
Azarrah Karrim, News24

While police are able to mobilise and immediately deal with widespread looting and rioting which started in Pretoria last week - and has since spread to Johannesburg - these incidents have drained their resources.

Police and residents clashed throughout Monday after dozens of shops, most owned by foreign residents, were looted in Jeppestown, Malvern, Turffontein, Troyeville and surrounding areas.

News24 also reported that a man was shot and killed during the running battles. It was reported that the shots were fired by people in the rioting crowd.

READ: Protesters loot Joburg shops as cops rally to quell unrest across parts of Gauteng

The unrest started in the Pretoria CBD last week, when foreign-owned shops were also looted and burned by mobs on a mission to rid the city of drug dealers.

The unrest in the capital started when taxi drivers took to the streets, after one of their own was allegedly shot and killed last Tuesday when he confronted dealers and police allegedly involved in selling drugs, News24 previously reported.

Taxi operators have since distanced themselves from the looting, saying that criminal elements hijacked their protest as an opportunity to loot.

READ MORE: Taxi drivers, 'drug dealers' and looting: Pretoria CBD's day of chaos

Police were still on high alert in the capital city on Tuesday after taxi operators tried to block several roads in the CBD on Monday. A number of people were arrested and the roads were cleared.

Around 18 people were arrested in Pretoria last week, while around 92 were arrested in Johannesburg on Monday.

The looting has since spread to Alexandra.

National police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo told News24 that they were prepared and equipped to deal with acts of criminality.

He did, however, say that incidents of this nature were a drain on police resources.

UPDATE: Cele condemns violent protests in Joburg, briefs Makhura and Ramaphosa

"We could be using the time and resources on preventative and proactive police," Naidoo said.

Naidoo also quashed concerns about crime intelligence not doing their work effectively in gathering information about the riots.

Naidoo referred to the chaos which unfolded in Pretoria CBD last week, saying that it was quelled as quickly as it had started.

This was due to the fact that measures were put into place before hand, as information had been received that taxi operators would be going on the offensive.

He said the chaos was contained to certain areas, while other areas in the CBD were calm. Naidoo added that the crime intelligence unit was also pivotal in the arrests being made in Pretoria and Johannesburg.

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