Members of various law enforcement agencies together with brand owners, on Thursday morning 01 August 2019 tactically withdrew from an intelligence-driven operation targeting counterfeit goods in the Johannesburg CBD. This came after a violent 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.
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.
The Provincial Commissioner of police in Gauteng, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela has condemned the incessant undermining of the authority of the state by these 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 cited, “We condemn the attacks on police and members of other law enforcement agencies. We condemn all criminal elements hell-bent on undermining the Rule of the law in this country and making this country ungovernable. We can’t co-govern with criminals, especially foreign nationals who want to turn our country into a lawless Banana Republic. Working together with SAPS, JMPD, Home Affairs and SARS 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 DIRCO to engage embassies to encourage their citizens to respect the Laws of this country.”