Gauteng Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela has condemned the violent attack on law enforcement agencies in the Johannesburg CBD on Thursday.
Law enforcement agencies, together with brand owners, on Thursday morning tactically withdrew from an intelligence-driven operation targeting counterfeit goods in the Joburg CBD.
In a statement, Gauteng police spokesperson Mathapelo Peters said a crowd of foreign nationals attacked police with objects, including bricks and petrol bombs.
“Due to the volatility of the situation, police retreated to avoid a situation where they would be forced to use live ammunition. Of priority at this point was ensuring that there was no bloodshed or death,” Peters said.
No law enforcement members sustained injuries, while two of the brand owners and one paramedic sustained serious injuries.
The situation is calm, while police are closely monitoring the area to make sure no further violence erupts.
Mawela has condemned the incessant undermining of the authority of the State by some foreign nationals in the Johannesburg CBD.
"Such lawlessness cannot be allowed to go unpunished," emphasised the Commissioner.
In her reaction to the incident, Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, MEC Faith Mazibuko also condemned the attacks.
“We condemn all criminal elements hell-bent on undermining the rule of law in this country and making this country ungovernable. We can’t co-govern with criminals.
“Working together with SAPS, JMPD [Johannesburg Metro Police Department], Home Affairs and SARS [South African Revenue Service] Customs, we will conduct a joint operation in that area. We will assert our authority and show ungovernable foreign nationals that there are laws in South Africa and they must be respected.
“We will also liaise with the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation to engage embassies to encourage their citizens to respect the laws of this country." – SAnews.gov.za