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Cele says JHB CBD lootings are a national emergency

Looting has been reported in a number of areas including Jeppestown, Malvern, Ekurhuleni and Sunnyside in Pretoria.

FILE: Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Bheki Cele on Monday described the situation in the Johannesburg CBD as a national emergency, saying more officers will be deployed to deal with the unrest.

Looting has been reported in a number of areas including Jeppestown, Malvern, Ekurhuleni and Sunnyside in Pretoria on Monday.

Metro bus services have been suspended in the wake of the unrest.

Meanwhile, emergency services have withdrawn from the scene of a fire at the Bree Street Taxi Rank fearing for their safety.

Cele said this was an act of criminality: “I find it an excuse of doing criminality but for now, we will deal with criminality.”

The situation in parts of the Joburg CBD remains tense where businesses have been torched and vandalised; police have made a number of arrests.

A group of people have been pelting passing vehicles with rocks preventing motorists from accessing parts of the CBD.

Several streets have been blocked off with stones and there's a burnt vehicle on Jules Street.

Police cars and nyalas are patrolling the area but it appears it may be hard for them to keep up with the crowd of people who have been targeting shops.

Eyewitness News was there when officers arrested a man after he tried to steal a fridge from one of the businesses.

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