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 11.30am 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.
In Samora Machel, Philippi East, police prevented a group from looting a delivery truck after barricades were placed on the road on Wednesday at about 10.30am.
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 10am 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.