Cops looted Sasolburg shops – residents
Police looted shops during the violent protests in Zamdela, in Sasolburg, residents of the Free State town alleged.
“If I had a camera, I would have taken photos. They took stuff in one Chinese shop and the community followed,” said a security guard today at a municipal office.
“At Save Right [a local shop near the police station] they even advised us not to injure each other, and when the ATM was robbed, their van was nearby.”
The 32-year-old man claimed that Sasolburg police were also unhappy about the proposed merger of the Ngwathe and Metsimaholo local municipalities.
He said this was evident in yesterday’s shooting, in which two people died and others were wounded when police from other provinces were deployed.
“We protested on Sunday [and] no one was wounded or died; we did it again on Monday … [there were] no injuries we heard about. So why are people being shot at when there is police from other provinces?”
Earlier in the week, police from Gauteng and Welkom were deployed in the area to help control the situation.
Twenty-three people have been arrested for being in possession of goods looted.
“Police conducted raids at houses following information that some stuff looted from the shops was in that area,” Colonel Motantsi Makhele said today.
“We confiscated stuff, mostly building material.”
The raid was conducted around 2am by various police units, including the National Intervention Unit.
The 23 would be charged with possession of stolen property.
Makhele said he was aware of the allegations that police were among the looters.
“People must come to the front if they have information,” he said.
“We welcome anyone who has information so that we can investigate this.”