Six arrested for trashing Vodacom shop

06 December 2018 - 15:22 By Nico Gous
Six people have been arrested for trashing a Vodacom shop in Polokwane on Sunday.
Six people have been arrested for trashing a Vodacom shop in Polokwane on Sunday.
Image: Gallo Images / Alet Pretorius

Police have arrested six people who were allegedly part of a group that trashed a Vodacom shop in the Mall of the North in Polokwane, Limpopo, on Sunday. The group claimed to be EFF supporters or members.

Limpopo police spokesperson Moatshe Ngoepe said the six had been arrested in and around Polokwane on Wednesday.

They will appear in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court on Friday on charges of malicious damage to property.

The incident  happened after Vodacom showed a photograph of EFF leader Julius Malema and deputy president Floyd Shivambu on Thursday night at the Vodacom Journalist of the Year awards ceremony in Midrand with the caption “Abusers of democracy!”.

Ngoepe said on Sunday the group had vandalised a second store in the mall, but that only one store had complained.

Vodacom said in a statement on Tuesday that it had met EFF leaders and resolved the issue.

“Vodacom acknowledged that it is politically neutral and it doesn’t influence party political positions in any way. Vodacom and EFF appreciate that the matter could have been handled differently to avoid the misunderstanding that occurred.”

Some hit back at Vodacom for not condemning the violence.

The SA Human Rights Commission condemned the looting and vandalism.

“Political parties, as well as the population at large, should ensure that we all use the legal and constitutional mechanisms at our disposal in addressing grievances. A constitutional democracy such as ours should not tolerate violence and/or looting and vandalism as a response to utterances that are not acceptable to one group or another in our society.”

DA Limpopo premier candidate Jacques Smalle said: “These arrests are welcomed and are a beginning to quell the inherent thuggery and bullying dished out by the EFF whenever someone expresses a view divergent to theirs.”