We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

‘We are going after the instigators’: Cele says there are forces behind mass looting

Emile Bosch Multimedia journalist

Sporadic violence and incidents of looting continued throughout areas in Gauteng on Monday night. Businesses in Soweto’s Diepkloof Mall awoke to their businesses ransacked and severely damaged. 

The owner of a small medical centre in the facility, Dr Thabile Vezi, arrived at work on Tuesday morning to discover her business had been overrun and looted .

“My thoughts were:‘We’re a medical centre, we’ll be spared,’ mainly because we’re servicing the community in terms of their health needs, but also because there’s nothing to loot. It’s a medical centre.”

Soldiers have been deployed to quell the widespread unrest in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Despite a military presence in Soweto, reports of looting continued and a stampede in Meadowlands on Monday reportedly left 10 dead.

Further south of Johannesburg, in Lenasia, two suspected looters died after falling into a sewage drain and drowning while running away from police.

In the north of the city, extensive military deployment in Alexandra seemed to calm gathered mobs.

Some looters tried to scavenge through the remains in the Pan Africa mall but were chased away by the military. 

Police minister Bheki Cele arrived at the scene to survey the aftermath of the riots.

Cele told members of the press that police had identified 12 “instigators” suspected to be involved in fuelling the unrest. 

After at least 19 people lost their lives in Gauteng, Cele said police are focusing on “preventive measures”.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.