Six arrested for trashing Vodacom shop
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.
I am also a long-standing customer @Vodacom. If I trash my local store because of their high data costs, would they visit me/lower them? This is the antithesis of free speech. And this is the quality of thought the EFF were protesting. https://t.co/yx2VRa9mFo https://t.co/N7rGvvCJR5— Pippa Green (@green_pippa) December 4, 2018
Laughable appeasement by @Vodacom.— Sihle Ngobese (@BigDaddyLiberty) December 4, 2018
What a disservice to their own staff who were (on video) visibly left traumatized and shaken up by the thuggery of the #EFF horde that ransacked stores.
I hope their unions, if any, atleast take this up...somebody must protect the workers! https://t.co/9Qxu5MeDfA
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.”