Police recover looted TVs, make arrests but N1 still closed at De Doorns

08 November 2019 - 10:21 By DAN MEYER

Protest action by residents of De Doorns, in the Western Cape, turned into looting on November 7 2019. Police were called to the area when striking residents looted stationary trucks on the N1 highway. The protesters stoned cars and stole big-screen television sets from the trucks.

Police have arrested seven people and recovered some of the big-screen television sets stolen in a looting spree, but the N1 highway at De Doorns remained closed because of protests on Friday.

Vehicles were pelted with stones and trucks carrying television sets and a shipment of spices were forced to a standstill on the highway in the Western Cape town on Thursday.

The highway had to be closed in both directions because of  safety concerns.  

Please be advised that so far seven people — a woman and six men — aged between 25 and 56 were arrested for theft. Police retrieved some of the stolen property and they are searching for more,” said police spokesperson Sgt Noloyiso Rwexana.

Videos posted on social media showed police officers marching out of houses with some of the stolen cargo, including smart television sets still in their boxes.

Provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa said the situation in the area remained volatile and he warned motorists to steer clear.

“They continue to pelt motorists with stones and the area is definitely not safe,” he said.

Amica Buonodonna, director of trucking company Buonodonna Group, said their vehicle — stripped by looters — was transporting 500 smart TVs.

“We are waiting for invoices from the client to find out exactly how much the cargo is worth,” she said on Friday. “You can be sure it’s a lot of money.”

She said the driver of the truck was unharmed and fled when the mob approached.

She said police had recovered about 60 televisions by around noon on Friday but it was unclear if they were in any condition to sell.