Police Minister Bheki Cele in Alexandra on Tuesday afternoon. Picture: GCIS
Police Minister Bheki Cele in Alexandra on Tuesday afternoon. Picture: GCIS

LIVE UPDATES: #SayNoToLooting – violence, looting continues despite SANDF deployment

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Jul 13, 2021

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South Africans are hoping for an end to the violence, looting and intimidation that has rocked the country after President Cyril Ramaphosa said last night he would mobilise all available resources and capabilities to restore order in the country.

The SANDF started deploying to hotspots late on Monday night in an attempt to quell the unrest.

However, widespread looting is still continuing in Gauteng and KZN and the death toll in both provinces is climbing.

Follow our live updates below.


“We’re beginning to lose lives on a scale that we’d love (to have) avoided,” said Police Minister Bheki Cele told reporters in Alexandra on Tuesday afternoon.

A total of 45 people have died due to the unrest in both Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Cele said that while some of the deceased had been shot, others were “dying in circumstances that we have not determined”.

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Marc Anthony, the manager of the Avonmore Superspar in Berea, thanks customers for helping to protect the store from looters. Video by Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

  • 5.36pm

Bread runs out in Durban

Communities formed snaking, often silent queues, at shops that had not bore the brunt of looters in Durban in an effort to buy what ever essentials they could get their hands on. Read the full story here.

  • 5.33pm

JMPD officers on patrol against rampant looting found one suspect hiding in the ceiling at the Bara Mall in Soweto.

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Security guards at the Chris Hani Mall in Vosloorus force alleged looters to swim in the water which was released by the sprinkler system. Video: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

  • 5.15pm

The SA National Taxi Association in Tshwane says they are on hand to protect three malls in the area against looting.

  • 5.06pm

Members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) were deployed to Alexandra township in Gauteng on Tuesday.

Members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) were deployed to quell looting and destruction of property in Alexandra township in Gauteng on Tuesday. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

Members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) were deployed to quell looting and destruction of property in Alexandra township in Gauteng on Tuesday. Picture: GCIS

  • 4.42pm

Clicks says it has had to close all 110 of its stores in KwaZulu-Natal and 130 stores in Gauteng, with a total of 279 stores closed and 52 stores damaged so far nationwide. 106 vaccination sites have been closed across the country. The cost of the looting and damages to stores is still to be determined given the ongoing unrest, according to a statement.

For a list of affected stores and the latest regularly updated information, please visit https://clicks.co.za/store-updates or contact the Clicks Customer Service Centre on 0860 254 257.

  • 4.30pm

Game Warehouse in Durban looted

SAPS members monitor Queen Nandi Drive after people looted the Game warehouse. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)

  • 2.57pm

A tweet from the Jacob Zuma Foundation on Tuesday afternoon says: “Peace and stability in South Africa is directly linked to the release of President Zuma with immediate effect.”

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Adults and children were seen fleeing the burning City Life Pearl Towers in the Durban CBD on Tuesday afternoon.

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A group of looters are making their way towards the Pavillion Shopping Mall in Westville. The mall is currently shut down due to the wave of looting that has gripped the city.

Not sure what measures are in place currently to keep looters at bay. This is one of the biggest shopping malls in Durban. – ANA reporter

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CAN'T BUY BREAD: Durbanites woke up this morning to limited access to the supply of bread and other essential items. Almost all shops are closed due to looting.

’’I went to several shops and its impossible to get a loaf of bread. The few shops that are opened have extremely long lines and people are panic buying - its like we are in a war situation,'’ said a resident. – ANA reporter Read more here.

  • 11:24am

RESERVOIR HILLS: Community patrollers have been holding the line for the past 40 hours. Reports from the ground indicate that two shopping complexes and a garage at the entrance to Reservoir Hills have been burnt.

Engen garage on the M19 also looted. Local security and armed civilians using rubber bullets and flash bangs to keep protesters at bay. – ANA reporter

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The Small Business Institute (SBI) today strongly condemned the wanton looting of businesses, destruction of vital economic infrastructure, burning of trucks and blockading of roads primarily in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

’’We also call on law enforcement agencies to urgently protect lives, property and businesses which have become the main target of the ongoing violence. Whilst our Constitution guarantees the right of every South African to protest, we find the violence visited on ordinary people, property, trucks and business premises completely indefensible.

’’We are shocked and concerned that law enforcement agencies, especially intelligence services, have allowed the situation to develop for weeks ahead of the Constitutional Court judgment on June 29 2021. The response has been slow, fragmented and woefully inadequate.’’

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The National Prosecuting Authority is coordinating closely with relevant government departments to ensure full and transparent accountability for anyone accused of committing or inciting crimes linked to these violent protests and looting, it said in a statement last night.

The Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions: Head of the National Prosecutions Service has advised Directors of Public Prosecutions in affected Divisions to prioritise these matters, and to refer the cases to prosecutors with the requisite experience, who must work with and guide police in their investigations. Should any special arrangements need to be made with regard to courts, this will be discussed with the relevant stakeholders.

  • 8.57pm

IPID condemns violence, praises police

Watch the President’s speech here

  • 8.34pm

President Cyril Ramaphosa to SA: “ I greet you with a heavy heart”.

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From the New York Times:

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Online delivery service, OneCart announced that it was closing early today for the safety of our Shoppers and Drivers.

In a statement it said: “All orders not delivered today, will be rescheduled as soon as our staff are back at work. Apologies for the inconvenience and please stay safe. Should you require any further information, please email us at [email protected] or call on 010 476 1400 and one of our customer service agents will be more than happy to help”.

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The administration of potentially lifesaving Covid-19 vaccine jabs has been disrupted in Gauteng, amid rampant looting and violence in the province.

More here

  • 5.40pm

The Gcaba Brothers, who run minibus taxis in KZN and Gauteng, have denied that they were responsible for the violent scenes playing out in the streets of KZN and Gauteng.

In a statement shared by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, the brothers said although they were in support of former president Jacob Zuma as a family relative, they did not wish to blur the lines.

They said the business had also been affected by the events taking place.

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All police officers who are currently on leave will report back to work amid the widespread violent protest and unrest.

This comes after the Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council (SSSBC) held an urgent meeting on Monday to discuss the emerging issues connected to the ongoing riots and looting across KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

More here

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Rioters loot the Jabulani Mall in Soweto on Monday. Video: AFP

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The Sandton City mall has decided to close its doors early as a precautionary measure.

  • 3.30pm

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation on Monday, as violence and looting continue to spread across KZN and Gauteng, amid calls for the release of former president Jacob Zuma.

In a statement, the Presidency confirmed the SANDF had been deployed to assist the police in terms of Section 201(2)(a) of the Constitution.

Said the Presidency: “The President is on record as calling for calm and warning criminal elements that they will face the full might of law as lawlessness is brought to an end and economic activity is allowed to continue.

“The majority of South Africans do not and should not tolerate violence, the destruction of property and the endangering of livelihoods.

“People are urged to report criminals by sharing videos of criminal activity with the police.

“People are also asked to pay attention to what they post on social media and to be aware that the sharing of fake news or content that incites violence and looting is a crime.

“It is also a crime to possess, receive and use stolen goods, or to interfere with the police in their execution of their duties”.

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Several shopping centres and malls in Gauteng were closed, while others experienced looting and violence on Monday. The Rea Vaya and Metrobus services were also suspended.

Looting in Soweto. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency/ANA

More here

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Maponya Mall and Jabulani Mall were looted today, and the Dobsonville Centre yesterday. All these centres are not far from police stations.

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The Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Community Safety has called on Gauteng Law Enforcement Agencies to put stringent measures in place to deal with ongoing protest actions that are taking place in various areas across the province.

’’The Portfolio Committee is concerned that these sporadic protest actions which have been characterised by looting and vandalism are taking place at a time when the country is on adjusted alert level 4 as a means to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

’’What is of more concern is the blind involvement of young people in these illegal protest actions who we should be looking at as future leaders of this country...

’’We have noted that in some areas these protests and unrest have been accompanied by provocation and intimidation of innocent people who have nothing to do with whatever conditions that have given rise to these unlawful protest actions. In some instances some people who are involved in this unrest have fired live ammunition and injuring police officers.’’

  • 1pm

EFF leader Julius Malema has responded to the deployment of soldiers from the SANDF to Gauteng and KZN, threatening to join the riots if the soldiers were deployed. He has called for a political solution.

  • 12.53pm

Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) said in a statement they have agreed to recall all officers on leave or deployed elsewhere to curb the violence and looting centred in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. ’’We call on all our members to heed this call to defend our country from all these violent protests and urge all to be vigilant and exercise extreme caution in discharging their duties,’’ Popcru said.

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Anticipating that the SANDF would be deployed, EFF leader Julius Malema said at the weekend: ’’You can't start with SA Police Service or SANDF as the first call. The question should be, where are the leaders to speak to their people? Are they scared of their people? And if the answer is yes, the next question should be: why are (they) leaders in the first place?”

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The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) says that it has commenced with pre-deployment processes and procedures in line with a request for assistance received from the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) "to assist law enforcement agencies deployed in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal Provinces respectively to quell the unrest that has gripped both Provinces in the last few days. The deployment will commence as soon as all deployment processes".

"The duration and number of deploying soldiers will be determined based on the assessment of the situation on the ground by the relevant law enforcement agencies. Furthermore, it must be emphasised that the SANDF`s deployment objective is to provide safety and a safe working environment for members of the SAPS and other law enforcement agencies whilst they carry out their Constitutionally mandated law and order duties. SANDF deployment-related information updates will follow in due course".

  • 12.12pm

CONFIRMED: The South African National Defence Force is being deployed to volatile areas to deal with the unrest currently being experienced in parts of the country.

SANDF spokesperson Brigadier-General Mafi Mgobhozi told IOL on Monday: ’’We received a request that we must deploy the SANDF to areas where there is unrest. As soon as the process has been completed, we will be able to deploy.’’

  • 12.04pm

SANDF deployed to Pietermaritzburg

Television news channel, eNCA is reporting that the SANDF has been deployed in the Pietermaritzburg CBD.

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Independent Media’s senior politics reporter Sihle Mavuso says ATMs have also been targeted amid the violent looting rocking KZN and Gauteng. He said ATM machines were targeted in KwaMashu at the KwaMashu Shopping Centre, north of Durban

  • 11.40am
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The public is informed that eThekwini Municipality’s healthcare facilities (clinics) and community vaccination sites are closed today, 12 July due to ongoing civil unrest across the City.

The Municipality has closed its clinics due to threats that have been directed at health facilities in the City.

The ongoing civil unrest has also affected community vaccination sites which have been unable to operate today.

The Municipality will reassess the situation during the day and advise the public accordingly.

Residents who qualify for phase 2 of the vaccination rollout, which includes those aged 50 and above are urged to continue to register to receive the vaccine. They can dial *134*832*ID number# or send the word REGISTER to 0600123456 on Whatsapp or alternatively enter their details at vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za.

For health emergency, the public can contact the ambulance service on 10177 or visit hospitals near their area.

  • 11.31am

Ethekwini Mayor calls for calm:

Following an upsurge in violent public protests in the city, eThekwini Municipality Mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda has called for calm and urged Metro Police, Emergency and Fire Services to continue to maintain high visibility in all areas that have been identified as hot spots.

Since the incarceration of former President Jacob Zuma last week, the city continues to experience sporadic violent protests in areas such as Peacevale along the N3, Umgababa on the N2, KwaMashu, Inanda, Umlazi, Clermont, Pinetown and the CBD.

“Working with the SAPS, we have developed an integrated safety plan which includes heightened police visibility in these hot spot areas. We have also activated our community structures to work with us to bring stability in the city.,” said Kaunda.

He reiterated government’s call that while it appreciates the anger among the people which was occasioned by the arrest of the former President, we must not put the lives of other people at risk by embarking on violent public protest and destroy property.

He said that the country was still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic which has adversely affected the economy and jobs. “We therefore request the residents of eThekwini to desist from embarking on violent actions which may exacerbate the economic crisis. Let us exercise restraint and prevent loss of lives and damage to property,” said Kaunda.

While the city is facing this difficult situation, Kaunda said that the Municipality will do its utmost best to minimise service delivery interruptions. “We would like to commend our law enforcement agencies for working around the clock to stabilise the situation across the city.” said Kaunda

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Police update – National Police spokesperson Colonel Brenda Muridili:

The NatJOINTS has intensified deployments in all the areas in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal affected by the violent protests as the damage to property and looting of stores continued overnight.

The NatJOINTS is receiving Intelligence support from its Intelligence Coordinating Committee comprising of SAPS Crime Intelligence, Defense Intelligence as well as State Security Intelligence, to enable law enforcement to counter these sporadic violent protests.

Gauteng police are investigating the circumstances into the deaths of four people since the break out of violent protests in Gauteng. On Sunday morning, the police responded to a call from Alexandra Clinic where they found a body with gunshot wounds. Later that day, the body of a security guard with assault wounds was found at Jeppestown. The third body was discovered also on Sunday, in the evening in Dobsonville while the fourth body was discovered with gunshot wounds in Germiston. The cause of death for the security guard and as well as the body found in Dobsonville is part of investigations.

In KwaZulu-Natal, there is a report of two people who have been killed, one in Inanda and the second one in Umbilo. The circumstances leading up to their deaths is under investigation.

The extent of damage to property and the looting of businesses will be determined at a later stage.

  • 10.43am

National police say that 219 people were arrested as of 8.30am today in connection with the violence and looting taking place. Of those arrested, 96 were Gauteng and 123 in KZN. Six people have died.

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Pietermaritzburg High Court staff members have been warned not to come to work on Monday due to the violent protests taking place in the city. In a statement on Monday, the Office of the Chief Justice said: ’’Due to the current protest action in the Province, there is insufficient personnel at the court. The General Office (Annexed Building) will therefore be closed on the 12th July, 2021.’’

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Police are investigating the deaths of two people in Johannesburg – one in Alexandra and the other in Jeppestown – as looting, intimidation and violence, which began on Friday in KwaZulu-Natal, persists.

In parts of Gauteng – especially in in central Johannesburg, Alexandra, Vosloorus and Ekurhuleni – shops were looted, properties and cars torched as the violence saw paramedics fleeing for their safety on Sunday. Groups of people ran amok in central Johannesburg, Alexandra, Vosloorus and Ekurhuleni and other parts of the province on Sunday.

Looting and mayhem continued in many parts of KwaZulu-Natal on Monday, with major routes being closed to traffic. Durban's public transport system was not operating and even funerals had been put on hold.

The SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) in KZN said taxis would not be operating. The entire N3 Toll Route, in both directions, from Harrismith in the Free State to Cedara in KwaZulu-Natal, was closed to traffic as “a result of the current spate of uncontrollable violent attacks on road users, trucks, security and emergency services and businesses”.

Reports from Pietermaritzburg on Monday indicated that Brookside Mall had gone up in flames this morning. The mall is situated alongside the N3 freeway as it passes through the city. Yesterday, shops were looted in the Durban CBD, Tongaat, Verulam, Amanzimtoti, Springfield and Overport on Sunday. Protesters continued to loot shopping centres on Monday morning.

The violence and looting continues despite President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plea last night that while the Constitution guarantees everyone's right to freely express themselves and to engage in peaceful protest, the violence and looting are endangering lives and damaging efforts to rebuild the economy. Ramaphosa warned that those behind the violent protests and anarchy would be arrested and prosecuted.

Without referring specifically to the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma, Ramaphosa said those who may feel hurt and angry at this moment had no justification for resorting to ’’violent, destructive and disruptive actions’’.


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