The Free State police have arrested 19 people after fiery protests in and around Mangaung on Monday.
The protests, which were organised under the banner of the Mangaung shutdown, saw 13 shops looted, 19 people arrested for public violence, as well as the murder of a teenage boy. The teenager was shot dead by a security guard at a warehouse which community members allegedly stormed on Monday.
The security guard was arrested and has been charged with murder.
Brigadier Motantsi Makhele, Free State police spokesperson said police worked around the clock after shops owned by foreign nationals came under attack as protesters attempted to loot the shops.
He said “As at this morning, no less than 13 shops were reported to have been looted.
“Since the beginning of shutdown disruptive actions, about 19 people were arrested for public violence and the looting which took place at these shops. More arrests are expected. The suspects are expected to appear in court tomorrow, 19 May 2021”.
Makhele further said police officers continued to monitor the situation on the ground in Mangaung and Botshabelo.
He said the murder-accused security guard was expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
“A 57-year-old security guard who was arrested, following the shooting of a teenage boy during violent shutdown protests, is expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, 19 May 2021.
“This is after allegations of a group of protesters who went to attack a Warehouse in Dr Belcher road, Bloemfontein”.
“The situation is still tense and police deployments were beefed up to make sure that we bring calmness into the area.
Makhele added that“(An) appeal is made to the community to refrain from looting the shops and any act of public violence, as they will face the full might of the law,” said the police.