One suspect has been arrested after he allegedly tried to stab police officers who were intervening during an attack on foreign-owned shops in the Durban CBD.
Police said on Monday morning, a group of around 30 people gathered at King DiniZulu Park, indicating that they wanted to march to City Hall to hand over a memorandum.
The group at the park were told by police that they would not be allowed to march as per the lockdown regulations which prohibit gatherings.
Durban CBD foreign owned shops being looted by Pharas also being set alight pic.twitter.com/rW7pOCtLfk
— Sokisi SA (@SokisiOfficial) January 25, 2021
While attending to the group at the park, reports were received that a second group had converged on the city centre and had started looting shops, police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker told News24.
“Police officers from Durban Central and metro police responded. They pursued the group and one suspect was arrested,” Naicker said.
“He attempted to stab police officers during the arrest but was quickly subdued without any injury to any of the arresting officers.”
Naicker added that a number of stolen items were recovered from the arrested suspect.
While the group of looters are unknown, Naicker said an operation is still ongoing to identify and arrest the other perpetrators, and a case of public violence has been opened for further investigation.
Foreign owned store looted in Durban CBD. pic.twitter.com/mzLXBHVt97
— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) January 25, 2021
eThekwini metro police spokesperson Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad confirmed the shops targeted were owned by foreign nationals.
Two shops, as well as a street stall belonging to a street vendor, were set alight during the looting spree.
Neither Naicker nor Sewpersad could immediately identify who the group was that wanted march to City Hall, or the reason why they wanted to march.