Hundreds arrested, firearms recovered as police declare war on migrant traders

Police officers ransack shops in the Johannesburg CBD.

JOHANNESBURG – Police Minister Bheki Cele says that the country cannot be co-governed with criminals, as South African Police Service sources said more than 500 had been arrested for lack of proper documentation and other crimes.

Cele was on the scene in Johannesburg CBD as police confiscated counterfeit goods being sold in the city centre.

Police also discovered a cache of weapons in an office in Medical Towers.

The owners claim they are running a security company but police have confiscated the guns and investigators will see if they are linked to any crimes.

Wednesday’s raid comes after shop owners in the city attacked law enforcement officers last week.

Some of the goods recovered during the searches.

Cele says he believes that police will win the war against crime in the Johannesburg CBD.

“We will be winning this battle, it can’t go on like this forever,” Cele said.

“We can’t have the co-governance with criminality, this is the co-governance with criminality that must be put off and make sure that government and everybody else runs the country accordingly.”

The inner city spiralled into chaos last week when police clashed with shop owners.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura says the shop owners were protecting counterfeit goods as they clashed with police.

“All these counterfeit goods are destroying our economy,” Makhura said.

“There is nothing that can be used to argue that this is proper business.”

Police found a cache of firearms in Joburg’s CBD. The weapons were discovered when police returned to conduct raids on vendors selling alleged counterfeit goods.

The inner city spiralled into chaos last week when police clashed with shop owners.

On Thursday, police confiscated counterfeit goods that foreigners were selling in the city centre.

The shop owners resisted, attacking officers and damaging their vehicles.

Shop owners say they were retaliating to the abuse they’ve faced over time, but are hoping to meet with police.

Government has condemned the attack on police, but the African Diaspora Forum says there are two sides to the story.

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