Bheki Cele commends Tshwane residents preventing ‘thugs’ looting

Police minister Bheki Cele visited the Nkomo Village shopping centre in Atteridgeville on Wednesday.
Police minister Bheki Cele visited the Nkomo Village shopping centre in Atteridgeville on Wednesday.
Image: Shonisani Tshikalange/TimesLIVE

Police minister Bheki Cele on Wednesday described the situation in Tshwane as “satisfying”.

Cele said the situation in the metro, where community members have banded together to protect shops from looters, was quite different to what has been happening in some areas in Johannesburg.

While on his visit to malls in the Tshwane area, Cele stopped at the Nkomo Village centre in Atteridgeville.

“One strong element here is working with the community. We welcome that people are working with the police,” he said.

“We are calling on the Tshwane community to stay different and be good. We are on the satisfied side when it comes to Tshwane.”

Cele denounced criminals attempting to loot stores.

“There is the question of thuggery and criminality. For instance, people going to malls armed with guns and shooting at the police and people protecting shops. This is thuggery that is organised and police need to respond and find the organisers. Police will be working with the community on that.”

Lehohang Mofokeng, manager at Nkomo Village, said the situation was calmer at the centre on Wednesday.

This was after three stores were broken into on Monday. Mofokeng said there was a swift response from police, metro officers and armed security.

“We have a calmer situation. The community of Atteridgeville has been doing a marvellous job of protecting our malls. I wish we would have done this earlier, before we were looted. But they came on board immediately when they heard shops had been looted on Monday,” she said.

She said the potential loss of more than 700 jobs would have been devastating had the looters succeeded.

This is a developing story

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