The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) says at least 550 people have been arrested for various crimes ranging from public violence to intimidation during the National Shutdown which took place on Monday.
In a statement, NATJOINTS said in those arrested, Gauteng recorded the highest number of arrests with 149 people alleged to have been on the wrong side of the law.
“The NATJOINTS has at 22:00 on, 20 March 2023, arrested more than 550 protestors for amongst others public violence, intimidation, damage to critical infrastructure, theft and attempted looting.
“In those arrested, Gauteng recorded the highest number of arrests with 149, the Northern Cape recorded the second highest number with 95 arrests, the Eastern Cape also saw 80 protestors arrested, followed by Free State with 64 arrests,” NATJOINTS Spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said.
NATJOINTS added that it appreciates the protests that proceeded in an orderly manner, while those who were found to be contravening the law were attended to.
“Through its respective Provjoints across the country, the NATJOINTS working closely with various stakeholders in the security Cluster, has ensured maximum mobilisation of resources to heighten police visibility with a view of preventing acts of lawlessness and criminality.
“The NATJOINTS is therefore pleased to report that it has delivered on its promise to the inhabitants of this country, in ensuring that the measures that are in place enabled businesses and services to operate with minimum incidents of criminality reported throughout the country,” Mathe stressed.
NATJOINTS further commended the role of private security in the sharing of resources, Members of the Community Police Forums (CPF), neighbourhood watches and other community structures “for their supportive role” throughout the day.