Thu, 04 Jun 2020

Police are investigating a case of malicious damage to property after hundreds of people looted an overturned truck on the N1 North near Olifantsfontein on Saturday.

Traffic came to a standstill when the truck overturned and the highway flooded with people running to help themselves to its load.

Johannesburg Metro Police Spokesperson Wayne Minnaar confirmed to News24 on Sunday morning that the road had since been cleared.

Videos posted showed hundreds of people carrying packets of MAQ washing powder away from the truck in a looting frenzy.

Police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said on Sunday that police and metro police were deployed to the scene and were monitoring the situation.

"The situation is calm at the moment. A case of malicious damage to property has been opened and the investigation is ongoing. The police will continue patrolling the area until we are sure that everything is normal," he said.

Anti-crime activist Yusuf Abramjee posted a 45-second clip showing people breaking open the sides of the truck's containers, stripping down the cream-coloured panels to reach the boxes of washing powder inside.

The massive traffic backlog could be seen from the photo posted by Johannesburg Emergency Management Services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi.

Another tweet appeared to show an eyewitness account of the traffic jam.

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