Home South African National shutdown: 87 people arrested, 24,300 tyres confiscated

National shutdown: 87 people arrested, 24,300 tyres confiscated

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As the EFF-led national shutdown gatherings get under way across the country on Monday, Police Minister Bheki Cele said 87 people have been arrested so far and over 24,000 tyres have been confiscated.

Police Minister Bheki Cele and national commissioner General Fannie Masemola provide an overview of the first 48 hours of law enforcement deployments in response to the March 20 protest. Picture: Itumeleng English, African News Agency (ANA)

AS THE EFF-led national shutdown gatherings get under way across the country, Police Minister Bheki Cele said 87 people have been arrested so far.

Of the 87 arrested, 41 were arrested in Gauteng, 29 in North West and15 in the Free State. There are also arrests in other provinces such as Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape. Updates will be provided as and when information becomes available.

Cele was addressing the media on Monday. He said the police and private security companies have also confiscated 24,300 tyres from under bridges and road intersections in hot-spot areas around the country – 6,000 were seized in the Western Cape, 4,500 in the Free State, 3,600 in Gauteng, 1,513 in the Eastern Cape and a number in other provinces.

On Sunday night, police used stun grenades to disperse students in Braamfontein.

Police have confiscated more than 24,000 tyres from hot-spot areas. Picture: Lirandzu Themba, SAPS

“Police detected that there were problems where people were blocking the road and others were standing on the roofs of cars. Police had to make a call for them to stop and they couldn’t stop so police had to use minimum force, they used stun grenades and not rubber bullets. People were arrested,” Cele said.

The EFF said the students have been released.

Cele said the police would be working with private security companies to quickly curb any violent protests.

In KwaZulu-Natal, a security officer was injured in a skirmish with residents on the N2/M1 in the Durban south area.

“On arrival on scene a male security officer was found to have sustained a fractured arm when a brick was thrown at his patrol vehicle by protesters in the Link Road area,” said Emer-G-Med spokesperson Kyle van Reenen.

He said the officer was treated and stabilised on scene before being taken to a nearby hospital for further care.

Meanwhile, law enforcement services have been deployed along the N3 in KZN after sporadic attempts had been made to obstruct the toll route in KZN, in the vicinity of the Bergville Interchange.

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