Over 550 arrests during national shutdown

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The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) has said at least 550 people were arrested for various crimes ranging from public violence to intimidation during the National Shutdown on Monday 20 March.

In a statement on Monday evening, NATJOINTS said that in those arrested, Gauteng recorded the highest number of arrests with 149.

“The NATJOINTS has at 22:00 on 20 March 2023 arrested more than 550 protestors for amongst others public violence, intimidation, damage to critical infrastructure, theft and attempted looting.

“In those arrested, Gauteng recorded the highest number of arrests with 149, the Northern Cape recorded the second highest number with 95 arrests, the Eastern Cape also saw 80 protestors arrested, followed by Free State with 64 arrests.

“The number of tyres that were confiscated throughout the country remains at 24 300. These were tyres that were strategically placed for acts of criminality,” NATJOINTS Spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said.

NATJOINTS said that it appreciates the protest that proceeded in a peaceful and orderly manner in Pretoria, while in the rest of the country, those who were found to be contravening the law were dealt with accordingly, within the ambit of the law.

Mathe said that they were satisfied with the manner in which the integrated law enforcement deployments have exercised their authority in ensuring law and order in the country during the shutdown.

“Through its respective Provjoints across the country, the NATJOINTS working closely with various stakeholders in the security Cluster, has ensured maximum mobilisation of resources to heighten police visibility with a view of preventing acts of lawlessness and criminality.

“The NATJOINTS is therefore pleased to report that it has delivered on its promise to the inhabitants of this country, in ensuring that the measures that are in place enabled businesses and services to operate with minimum incidents of criminality reported throughout the country,” Mathe said.

NATJOINTS further commended the swift response by members of the South African Police Service and other law enforcement agencies to pockets of opportunistic criminality.

According to NATJOINTS, the secondary support role of the South African National Defence Force in assisting the work of the police by protecting critical infrastructure such as ports of entry, toll roads, and harbours also yielded positive results.

NATJOINTS further commended the role of private security in the sharing of resources, Members of the Community Police Forums (CPF), neighbourhood watches and other community structures for their supportive role and the transport sector, especially the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) and National Taxi Alliance (NTI).

“The NATJOINTS wishes to thank various stakeholders from members of the public and the business fraternity for working together with law enforcement to uphold and enforce the law.

“To this end, law enforcement deployments will continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure the safety and security of everyone in the country,” Mathe said.