Cele: SA under strong surveillance amid violence and looting

Several areas in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal are buckling under mass looting on Tuesday afternoon despite desperate pleas from the president and several ministers for the violence to stop.

Police Minister Bheki Cele during a media briefing on crime statistics in Pretoria on 31 July 2020. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Bheki Cele on Tuesday said the country is under strong surveillance and officers are using intelligence information to respond with speed to hotspots.

Several areas in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal are buckling under mass looting on Tuesday afternoon despite desperate pleas from the president and several ministers for the violence to stop.

Several shopping centres have been ransacked in Soweto, Diepsloot and Pietermaritzburg.

The N3 has now partially reopened the N3 highway from Harrismith in the Free State to Heidelberg in Gauteng.

And in Johannesburg, the M2 east and west which had been closed since Saturday were now been reopened.

Cele said just because people can’t see officers on the live visuals of the looting on their TV screens, it did not mean officers were not working trying to attend to the violence.

“We cannot allow anyone to make a mockery of our democratic state and we have instructed the law enforcement agencies to double their efforts to stop the violence and increase deployment on the ground.”

State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said that the intelligence machine was working in "overdrive" while trying to feed the police with the information fueling the riots gripping Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal but strongly denied that it had failed in its work.

The army was now on the ground in some areas which had been gripped by mass looting and violence in KwaZulu-Natal.

Dlodlo said they were following up on any information to stop the escalation of the violence on the ground.

“I want South Africans to be assured that we did avert a lot. What you see is only a part of what could have happened. So, we weren’t not missing in action as SSA and I dare say even the police were not missing in action. We tried our level best under a very difficult situation.”

WATCH: Cele: Instigators of the looting are known and will be arrested

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