PICS: Cops avoid ‘bloodbath’ in Joburg CBD raid, 600 arrested
'We believe we are doing the proper work as the SAPS and we will win this battle...we can't have co-governance with criminality,' Police Minister Bheki Cele said.
Law enforcement officers raid for counterfeit goods in Johannesburg, 7 August 2019, and uncovered an arms cache that included AK47 and other assault rifles.Picture: Nigel Sibanda
More than 600 foreigners were detained on Wednesday after the police carried out a second raid in the Johannesburg CBD.
The raid comes less than a week after police officers were chased out of the area by shop owners after they tried to confiscate counterfeit goods.
Police vehicles were pelted with stones and officers were forced to flee from the scene. Three police vehicles were damaged.
On Wednesday, several buildings and roads were shut down in the city centre as various police units once again moved into the area to look for counterfeit goods and illegal items.
The police brought in trucks to load the recovered goods on.
In one instance, they confiscated five vehicles, which contained counterfeit goods.
More than 1,500 officers were deployed to the area.
In one of the buildings, police recovered rifles, pistols and handguns.
“We came here today after Thursday’s incident. As the government, we are saying there will be no country here that can have parallel governments. There is no country that can be run by criminals,” said Police Minister Bheki Cele.
“Governments are elected and the government takes decisions in an open way, so we had to come and see what is the story. I want to praise the police for the way they acted. It could have been a bloodbath if they acted the other way.”
Cele said those who fought with the police last week were protecting criminal activities in the CBD.
He said guns that were confiscated would be sent for ballistic testing.
“We told the country and everybody that it was not as they said. We are not cowards. We believe we are doing the proper work as the SAPS and we will win this battle. I want to repeat, we can’t have co-governance with criminality,” Cele added.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura said police intelligence was acting on information that 30 minibus taxis had delivered counterfeit goods at a particular building in Johannesburg.
“The police organised as they did to seize those goods last week. As it is known, there was counter-organisation against the police. The police were attacked as they came to confiscate the counterfeit goods,” added Makhura.
“It was a strategy to simply protect the counterfeit goods that were brought into those buildings. Today, the police are doing their work and all their goods are destroying the economy.
“Nothing can be used to argue that this is a proper business. We are calling on the whole government to ensure that all our ports of entry are stopped,” said Makhura.