Johannesburg – The South African Police Service (SAPS) in Gauteng on Sunday strongly condemned the incidents of violence directed at state property and "the property of innocent citizens" in recent protests in Johannesburg against electricity blackouts and other service delivery concerns.
This followed the damage to, and destruction of private vehicles and serious and violent crimes, including rape, at the Klipspruit Valley Road in Soweto on Saturday night by residents in the area because of an electricity blackout, Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said.
"Police are also appealing to members of the public who might have been injured to come forward. Several cases, including malicious damage to property, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, rape, and public violence are being investigated."
It was suspected that more than 20 motorists were affected, including a woman who became a victim of rape, Dlamini said.
“Criminals who operate as protesters with the intention of terrorising the members of the community, once caught, will face the full might of the law," Gauteng police commissioner Lt-Gen Elias Mawela said.
He was highly concerned about the violence directed at innocent citizens, and also appealed to the affected authorities to attend to the community concerns as soon as they became aware, so that violence was minimised.
Police appealed to anyone who might have knowledge about the criminals who attacked motorists to come forward. Information may anonymously be forwarded to Crime Stop at 08600-10111 at all hours. Any information that may lead to the arrest of the perpetrators may be rewarded, Dlamini said.
African News Agency/ANA