Two more people have died in Pretoria as incidents of violence and looting engulf the capital city, the Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) said on Thursday.
“The two were found at the Central City Mall, in Mabopane (north of Pretoria). The SA Police Service will carry out investigations on what could have happened. It is safe to say, for now, that the deaths do appear to be linked to the unrest,” TMPD executive director Console Tleane said in a statement.
The Central City Mall and Batho Plaza in Soshanguve have been looted by mobs.
Speculation was that the two dead people may have been trampled during a stampede as the mall was ransacked.
The Tshwane municipality said service delivery, specifically with regards to waste management, continued to be affected by Thuraday in areas including Mabopane, Soshanguve, Ga-Rankuwa, Atteridgeville, and Hammanskraal.
“The city will endeavor to not allow the situation to deteriorate and once again regret this unfortunate consequence. Waste management workers will move into the affected areas as soon as it is safe to do so. Other areas in the city, including the CBD, remain unaffected and waste is removed,” said Tleane.
The authorities said by midday on Thursday, the situation in the Tshwane metro was relatively calm.
“The cleaning up operations continue to be carried out. There was, however, a disturbance with city workers and were prevented from removing the burnt wreckages of buses. The workers will go back as soon as it is safe to do so,” he said.
“The TMPD and the SAPS will continue to deploy heavily in all affected areas. Deployment is based on information that is picked up from the ground, response capacity, and restoration efforts.”
On Wednesday, Gauteng police confirmed that two people had been shot and killed in Mamelodi, east of Pretoria, as several shops were looted in the area.
Police spokesperson Colonel Noxolo Kweza said no arrests had been made in connection with the deaths.
“I can confirm that two people were shot and killed. We haven’t arrested anybody yet,” said Kweza.
The two were allegedly part of a mob attempting to rob a Pakistani-owned shop in the location.
Kweza said by Wednesday morning, police had arrested more than 40 suspects following incidents of violence amid continuing protests across Pretoria.
“Some of the people were arrested in Atteridgeville, Hercules, Mabopane, Soshanguve and Mamelodi. They will appear in court soon. They have been charged with public violence, theft and possession of stolen property,” said Kweza.
Violence erupted in Pretoria on Sunday as news filtered in indicating that former cabinet minister Thoko Didiza would be named as the city’s mayoral candidate for the ANC – ahead of incumbent Tshwane Mayor and ANC regional chairman Kgosientso Ramokgopa.
Residents said they were not happy with Didiza and wanted Ramokgopa to remain in his position.
Ramokgopa and his regional ANC deputy chairman Mapiti Matsena distanced themselves from the protests this week and condemned the violence. They called on residents to accept the mayoral candidacy and rally behind Didiza.
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