After a week of violent unrest and looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, police have recovered thousands of rand worth of items stolen from warehouses and retail stores.
On Monday, police followed up on tip-offs from community members in both provinces to recover thousands of suspected stolen goods.
But what happens to the 40-inch flat-screen TVs and fancy couches now?
Here are three things we know so far about the recovered goods.
Recovered looted goods are stored
According to police minister Bheki Cele, the recovered looted goods include beds, electronic goods, mag wheels and a casket.
Cele said the stolen goods will be put in a storage facility and might be used as evidence in some pending cases.
“They are going to SP13, where police keep anything that might be used as evidence. There is a meeting between the police and the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority] to work out what will happen to the goods after cases have been finalised,” Cele said.
“Evidence rooms are full. Right now, we are trying to get a warehouse where we can keep them.”
[ON RECORD] Minister Cele addresses the question on everyone’s lips, WHAT HAPPENS TO THE STOLEN GOODS? that are being recovered by @SAPoliceService following the campaign of violence and looting in KZN and Gauteng. #ProtectSA #RebuildSA #DontBuyStolenGoods #CeleinKZN pic.twitter.com/RuUHYrE86i
— Lirandzu Themba (@LirandzuThemba) July 19, 2021
No, food will not be taken back
Ministry of police’s spokesperson Lirandzu Themba said groceries will not be taken back.
Themba disputed claims made on a Facebook post that there was an order from the police department requiring people to present proof of purchase for groceries.
She told Africa Check that people will also not be arrested if they fail to produce a slip for the food.
Themba was quoted saying, “There’s no such directive from the police side.”
Will looted goods be destroyed?
According to EWN, the goods being confiscated from looters by the police and other law enforcement officials will likely be destroyed.
The publication reported that several stores confirmed they have no use for looted goods and police policy will dictate they should be dumped.
The Clothing Bank CEO Tracey Chambers told CapeTalk that it was “complicated” to sell goods once they have left the shop.
“It’s really hard for us to know what to do. We have lots of traders trading online and this weekend a few of them have warned people to not buy from looters,” said Chambers.