National Shutdown arrests jumps to 550

The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) says at least 550 people have been arrested for various crimes ranging from public violence to intimidation on Monday, March 20.

As years of festering frustrations over the electricity crisis at the hands of Eskom finally boil over in expression of rage, the red berets, or Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), swarmed the streets across in a peaceful mass protest labeled ‘National Shutdown’ in response.

Apart from expressing their outrage and frustration against loadshedding, the party calls for the president Cyril Ramaphosa’s resignation along with his cabinet of ministers.

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.

In a media statement released shortly after the much-discussed National Shutdown, the National police spokeperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe stated that through its police are 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.”

“Through intelligence driven operations, the swift response by members of the South African Police Service and other law enforcement agencies to pockets of opportunistic criminality is commended. 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 has also yielded positive results. The role of private security in the sharing of resources and as a force multiplier on the ground also played a major role in ensuring that law enforcement visibility is heightened. Through the SAPS E2 (eyes and ears) project, the security industry made resources and tools of trade available to law enforcement,” says Brigadier Mathe.

Brigadier Mathe added that the Natjoints takes this opportunity to appreciate the EFF’s main protest that proceeded in a peaceful and orderly manner in the capital city, Tshwane.

The law enforcement agencies 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 number of tyres that were confiscated throughout the country remains at an estimated 24 300. These were tyres that were strategically placed for acts of criminality.

“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.

Communities are encouraged to continue to report any wrongdoing and suspicious activities to their nearest police station or call the crime stop number on 0860010111.

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