Police Minister, General Bheki Cele visited businesses and shopping complexes that were affected by the widespread riots and looting, during last week’s campaign of violence in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
Cele met with the management of Liberty Midlands Mall in Pietermaritzburg as well as the managers of The Pavilion and Gateway shopping centre’s in Durban, on Monday. The mall mangers provided Cele with a security plan that the retail centres have put together in conjunction with the South African Police Service (SAPS) to continue to secure the shopping centres in the hard hit KZN region.
Looters targeted the three retail centres during widespread riots and looting last week, but members of the SAPS had managed to speedily contain the volatile situation outside these three regional shopping centres. The police and private security firms have continued to guard the malls to prevent further violence and looting.
While all three malls are currently open only for essential shopping, the retail centres will be fully operational within the coming days in line with their respective security plans.
Meanwhile in Durban, Cele joined security forces in the city’s central business district as they responded to tip-offs from community members about the location of suspected stolen property, that was looted during the unrest in the province.
Cele said police were routinely working on recovering the stolen goods in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng and all suspected looted goods would be placed at various police evidence storage facilities.
“We are thankful for communities who keep on providing information that can assist police and we also commend people that are voluntary surrendering the stolen goods and must continue to do so. But those who choose to keep these stolen ware in their homes are being warned that the law will not have mercy on you,” Cele said.