Security has been bolstered at Sandton malls, following persistent public violence in parts of South Africa.
- Benmore Shopping Center tenants closed their doors at 5pm as a precautionary measure.
- Morningside Shopping Center and Sandton City continue to monitor the situation.
- The Melrose Arch Precinct has been closed as a precautionary measure.
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A Benmore Shopping Center spokesperson confirmed to The Sandton Times that there was no protest, looting, or damage that had taken place at the mall and there had been ‘a false alarm on a perceived threat’.
The Benmore Centre Management notes with concern the news being circulated around looting and protests at the center. Due to perceived threats, the centre was safely evacuated. Most tenants however did close early to allow employees to return home. As a precautionary measure, the center will remain closed for today. The safety and security of our customers, employees, and tenants is of the highest priority.
// Benmore Centre Spokesperson
Sandton’s largest mall, Sandton City, also issued a statement via Twitter.
Sandton City is aware of the evacuation video circulating on social media. This video is from April 2021 and is not connected to the ongoing violent protests in and around Johannesburg. Additional security measures have been put in place at Sandton City, as the safety and security of shoppers and tenants is of the utmost importance. Together with the South African Police Service, Sandton City will continue to monitor the situation and is currently operating as per normal, as a COVID-19 compliant, SAFE-certified shopping center.
// Sandton City Twitter Account
As a precautionary measure, and after consultation with the South African Police Service (SAPS), Sandton City was closed at 4pm. Private security in the Sandton area has been bolstered with regular patrols around the area planned over the next 24-hours.
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has commenced with pre-deployment processes and procedures in line with a request for assistance received from the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS). The request entails SANDF support for police operations in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
The government has asked citizens to pay attention to what they post on social media and to be aware that the sharing of fake news or content that incites violence and looting is a crime. President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for calm, warning criminal elements that they will face the full might of law as lawlessness is brought to an end and economic activity is allowed to continue.
The President will address the nation this evening at 8pm on the government’s response to persistent public violence in parts of the country.
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