Stop and Search Operation Underway to Recover Looted Goods

The South African Police Service (SAPS) in partnership with the South African Defence Force (SANDF) are conducting stop and search operations in parts of the country where looting of businesses took place. Read further for more.


The South African Police Service (SAPS) was widely criticized for its lack of managing potential criminal activities as South Africa saw scenes of businesses being looted on their watch. The late intervention of South African National Defence Force (SANDF) was seen to be the difference made as looters responded by retreating from looting activities. 

On Thursday, 22 July 2021, SAPS led a stop and search operation in partnership with SANDF to recover the looted goods from communities.

The search operation targeted informal settlements and township residents who reside closer to the looted business centres. Police are said to be conducting door to door searches without search warrants that allows them access to people’s private properties.

The residents of Soshanguve in North of Pretoria in Gauteng watched helplessly as goods, suspected to be looted, were carried out of their homes.

The township is a renowned hotspot for vehicle hijacking. The Department of Home Affairs also saw an opportunity to search for undocumented immigrants in the area of Soshanguve with an arrest being confirmed.

SAPS in partnership with SANDF were also seen breaking into houses that were locked in order to search and recover the stolen items. A reported number of items like Plasma TVs, groceries and alcohol was recovered.

The residents were required by the joint operation to produce proof of purchase to claim their goods.  

The joint search operation aims to serve a lesson to those who commit crime and think they can get away with it.

As the late intervention of SANDF was also criticized along with the police helplessness, the Defence Joint Committee in Parliament defended that soldiers don’t deploy themselves. Many are of the opinion that the President should have acted early in trying to control the lawlessness as he reserves the right to deploy soldiers.

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