S.A Officials Vow To Retaliate After ‘Attack’ On Johannesburg Police
Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, has condemned the violent, riotous behavior, spearheaded by ‘foreign nationals’, which engulfed the Johannesburg CBD on Thursday.
Johannesburg’s inner city was plunged into chaos on Thursday morning when law enforcement agencies attempted to confiscate counterfeit goods from informal traders. A joint operation between the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) quickly spiraled out of control when vendors fought back against the raids.
Joburg riots led by foreign nationals, says Makhura
According to Premier Makhura and Chief of the JMPD, David Tembe, foreign nationals operating in the inner-city responded with violence; hurling bricks and petrol bombs at law enforcement officers.
The police raid quickly turned into a full-scale riot. Multiple roads into the city were cordoned off and officers were eventually forced to unleash rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse the ferocious crowd.
Despite the police’s best non-lethal efforts, the angry crowd continued to surge forward. Under severe pressure and “not willing to exercise deadly force”, law enforcement withdrew from the area. According to an official statement issued later that day:
“[Police] tactically withdrew from an intelligence-driven operation targeting counterfeit goods in the Joburg CBD. This came after a violent crowd of foreign nationals attacked police with objects including bricks and petrol bombs.”
Following the wanton lawlessness and vicious attack on police officers, major stakeholders in the City have lashed out at ‘foreign nationals’. Makhura vowed to intensify police operations in the city and hold those responsible for the violence accountable, saying:
“Some foreign nationals who sell counterfeit goods and occupy buildings illegally in the Joburg CBD attacked our police with bottles and petrol bombs. This despicable crime against our state will never be tolerated. Okae Molao will respond in full force to defend rule of law.”
Mashaba demands arrests, says CBD should be ‘closed off’
City of Johannesburg mayor, Herman Mashaba, also voiced his disdain early on Friday morning, saying:
“I am deeply hurt and devastated to wake up this morning to learn that not a single criminal is arrested after the blatant disregard of our country’s laws yesterday in the Inner City.
I would have expected the city to have been closed off and all criminals behind bars by now.”
Gauteng community safety MEC, Faith Mazibuko, said she too condemned the attacks, taking specific aim at foreigners, saying:
“We condemn all criminal elements hellbent on undermining the rule of the law in this country and making this country ungovernable.
We can’t co-govern with criminals, especially foreign nationals who want to turn our country into the lawless Banana Republic.”
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