Police are investigating the deaths of two people – one in Alexandra and the other in Jeppestown while trying to contain pockets of violence in some parts of Gauteng. Police officers found the body of a man in Jeppestown late on Sunday. Several shops were looted and properties set alight as violence in the area escalated. Paramedics were forced to flee the scene for their own safety.
Emergency services were called out to a fire at the Naledi Mall overnight, but when they arrived, they could not perform their duties due to the protests. Emergency services William Ntladi said fires were also started in other shopping centers in Gauteng.
“Shops were vandalised and attacked. The whole thing happened during the night where emergency services had to pull back physically.”
Groups of protestors and opportunists ran amok in central Johannesburg, Alexandra, Vosloorus and Ekurhuleni, and other parts of the province on Sunday. They torched property and cars, intimidating anyone who got in their way or attempted to intervene, and ransacked businesses. Members of the media were also threatened and forced to cover the events from afar while trying to stay safe.
Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his address to the nation last night, said those behind the violent protests and anarchy would be arrested and prosecuted.
“As a nation, we will not tolerate any acts of criminality. We will not tolerate any acts of vandalism. Those who are involved in acts of violence will be arrested and prosecuted,” he said.
In KwaZulu-Natal, the provincial government has deployed the MECs for Community Safety and Economic Development to monitor and assess the Mooi River area where much of the violence erupted during the weekend.