Samora Machel was the scene of unmitigated carnage on Sunday, costing two people their lives. Cape Town authorities have vowed to investigate the matter.
A deadly set of protests in two of South Africa’s biggest cities has claimed multiple lives this weekend. Two people were killed during the demonstrations which flared-up in Johannesburg, and tragedy also struck Cape Town. Two people lost their lives as unrest erupted in the township of Samora Machel on Sunday.
It’s understood a police raid on illegal shebeens in the area had apparently incensed some community members, sparking a wave of violence. Xhosa radio station Umhlobo Wenene FM received a wave of calls during their breakfast show, as locals in the Cape Town area suggested that there was a xenophobic element to the violence.
Samora Machel protests leave two dead
SAPS were deployed to the area – as well as some regions of Philippi, where further trouble had been reported – and law enforcement was eventually able to quell the situation. However, small businesses and larger stores had been looted and ransacked by the frenzied crowd.
The police confirmed via a statement that there had been a total of 30 arrests in the past 24 hours. But the long arm of the law was unable to reach the scene in time to prevent fatalities. As well as the woman in her thirties, the body an unknown male had also been discovered on the floor of a looted store:
“The police intervention saw a total of 25 people arrested for looting a local chain grocery store, where extensive damage was caused. Several smaller shops were also targeted by protesting community members. Operation Lockdown and additional police deployments will remain on high alert in the area to prevent any further incidents of violence.”
“An additional five people were arrested for being in possession of groceries and a deep freezer when house were searched in Samora Machel. The suspects are all due to make their respective court appearances in Athlone this week. During the protest action, two fatalities were also reported.”
Andre Traut, Western Cape Police
Deadly Cape Town looting spree – deaths will be investigated:
SAPS are currently investigating the circumstances leading to the deaths, to determine whether there is any criminal activity that needs to be investigated. It was also reported on Sunday that paramedics were struggling to carry out their duties due to the civil disruption, and ambulances couldn’t gain access to Samora Machel.
#sapsWC Samora Machel stabilised by #OperationLockdown, 30 arrested in total. Operation Lockdown and additional police deployments will remain on high alert in the area to prevent any further incidents of violence. #PoliceVisibility MEhttp://www.saps.gov.za/newsroom/msspeechdetail.php?nid=22241 … pic.twitter.com/fD4QLFj2Ir