Monday, 2 September 2019


The Johannesburg CBD was plunged into violence on Monday morning, a day after three people died in a fire in a hijacked building.

A mob, calling on foreign nationals to vacate the area, looted and set alight shops, including a car dealership that was burnt to the ground.

The looting started while the hijacked building was on fire on Sunday, and spread to more areas on Monday.

Johannesburg metro police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said one person was shot in the head during the violence on Monday.

SAPS spokesman Col Lungelo Dlamini confirmed on Monday evening that the man had died.

"Police are investigating a case of murder following the fatal shooting of a member of the public. He was allegedly shot by a group of people who had gathered in Hillbrow. At this stage police are still interviewing several people to establish the motive for the shooting. No one has been arrested for the murder," he said in a statement.

The confirmation of the killing came as police minister Bheki Cele vowed to send more police to volatile areas in Gauteng.

After visiting Johannesburg - which has seen the most of the violence - Cele said on Monday afternoon that additional officers would be deployed to deal with the unrest.

“We need to stop any form of looting by bringing more police. Tomorrow [Tuesday], we will have meetings with the communities because, for us, what will help is to involve the community, the leadership at all levels.

“We believe that talking to the people, life will be better rather than sending only security to deal with the matter. We need to deal with it both politically, at government level, and speak with the people,” Cele said.

The minister said police must deal with criminality. What started as a protest against drug dealers in Pretoria last week - which later turned out to be an attack on foreign nationals - has now spread to a number of areas in Johannesburg and across Gauteng.

Violence flared at the weekend in Jeppestown and surrounding areas in eastern Johannesburg. A mob looted and set alight several shops in the area. Dozens of cars were torched at dealerships. Nothing but burnt frames of cars, which were once worth millions, were left behind.

On Monday the streets were covered in debris, empty rubber bullet casings and burnt out tyres, while emotionally shattered shop owners tried to come to terms with their loss.

Police confirmed that 100 people had been arrested on charges ranging from public violence to malicious damage to property, and to theft. The arrests took place in Rosettenville (20 arrests), Malvern (35),  Jeppestown (26), Germiston (9) and Thembisa (10).

"Several operations are continuing in Thembisa and more people are expected to be arrested," said Dlamini. Sowetan


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