Five people arrested for malicious damage to property following protest at Alberton Clicks

A Clicks store is seen 7 September 2020 after it was vandalised on the same day supporters of the EFF demonstrated at Clicks stores around the country after the franchise aired an advert deemed demeaning to black hair. Picture: Michel Bega.

Police say suspects allegedly smashed and broke down the windows and the door, forcing entry into the store where they caused further damage including a fire that was contained.

An investigation by police into a case of malicious damage to property following an attack on a Clicks store by a group of people at the Lemon Tree shopping centre in Alberton on Monday morning has led to the arrest of five suspects.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said according to reports, employees at the store had locked themselves inside the store after receiving a warning of the planned EFF protest against Clicks stores, and that a group of people clad in EFF regalia had targetted this particular store.

“On arrival of the latter group at the store and finding the doors locked, the suspects allegedly smashed and broke down the windows and the door, forcing entry into the store where they caused further damage including a fire that was swiftly contained. The exact cause of the fire is yet to be confirmed.

“Alberton police immediately activated and collaborated with the Ekurhuleni District trio task team and swiftly arrested five suspects whose ages range from 21 to 40.

“Their court appearance is yet to be determined,” Peters said.

Peters said in another incident, a case of malicious damage to property has been opened for investigation after a group of people also on Monday allegedly stormed the Clicks store in Bryanston, kicked down shelves and destroyed property.

“No injuries were reported in both incidents.

“Police in Gauteng remain on high alert and will continue to monitor to ensure stability,” said Peters.

Gauteng commissioner of police, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela has warned that law enforcement agencies will not hesitate to act decisively against anyone who acts criminally, including those who destroy property and/or incite violence.

(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)

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