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Over a dozen people have been arrested for public violence and one for looting after SAPS’ Public Order Policing (POPS) unit cracked down on a day of violent looting in Macassar, Cape Town, on Tuesday…

Macassar, in the City’s east region, erupted into violence – with police and law enforcement defending a shopping centre with stern riot-control measures.

Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said “a group of community members looted various spaza shops in the area”.

The Shoprite Group said in a statement that its Macassar store was closed earlier “after information was received the store would be targeted in a looting attempt”.


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“Swift action was taken by private security services and the premises was secured by tactical security, with the assistance of SAPS. The situation is being monitored and trade will resume when it is deemed safe to do so,” the retail group said.


News24 witnessed an extremely heavy police presence at the shopping centre precinct, while POPS vehicles attempted to keep the suburb safe.

Residents hurled rocks at several passing vehicles, and the streets were littered with spent cartridges from the security services’ riot-control weapons.

In other roads, some residents had burned debris to blockade exits.

Videos doing the rounds on social media show what appeared to be looting and attempted looting attempts; police are also heard firing stun grenades.

“The people are hungry. The government promised people food. They must give us parcels. In every house,” demanded resident Adam Booysens.

Arrests have been made

Rwexana said police arrested a 40-year-old man for looting, and a further dozen people – 11 men and a woman – for public violence.

The looting is the latest in a recent string of incidents at a variety of retail outlets – from the informal to major shopping malls – in a time of great hunger during the nationwide lockdown.

Shoprite said the group is engaging with law enforcement agencies at the highest level to assist with keeping stores safe while adhering to the regulations in terms of the Disaster Management Act during the lockdown.

“We denounce acts of crime committed against our stores, which ultimately puts the livelihood of our employees and often also their lives and safety, and that of our customers, at risk,” the group said.

It also called on the public to call the whistle blower hotline if they had any information. The number is 0800118 879.

Residents on the streets said they were hungry – but, in other quarters, a festive mood prevailed as children and families waved and cheered at the unfolding action.

(Compiled by Carina Koen.)

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Citizen reporter – Citizen

The post WATCH: Chaos in Macassar as people loot spaza shops, burn debris appeared first on Citizen.