Twenty-one people have been arrested for the Western Cape’s first looting incident, that took place during the first weekend of the lockdown. Minister of Police Bheki Cele condemned this behaviour after he received reports of 16 incidents of burglary and looting in the province since the lockdown.
Cele also expressed concern at the alleged dealings of police officers in liquor-related crimes in the Cape. Two warrant officers from the Delft FCS Unit were arrested along with a store manager and cashier in Strand earlier this week. It is believed the suspects were illegally purchasing liquor, and planned to resell it elsewhere.
In Mpumalanga, two police officers were arrested on Friday evening after it was found that they were escorting three bakkies loaded to capacity with alcohol.
“In line with the SAPS Anti-Corruption Strategy, the National Commissioner, General Kehla Sitole has sanctioned urgent departmental investigations into the two incidents through which, if found guilty, the members could face dismissal from the service,” acting police Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said to IOL. “Cele has called for an urgent meeting where together with SAPS management, they will engage liquor retailers to address this problem and work out a collaborative strategy towards mitigating this emerging risk.”
“The general crime picture since the Covid-19 lockdown continues to reflect a decrease and such incidents must therefore be intercepted and the perpetrators arrested. Our law abiding citizens must continue to work with law enforcement against criminals as we together ensure the survival of the human race against the COVID-19,” said Cele.