Shopping centre attracts a crowd (of criminals)

Thirteen armed robberies and five rapes were reported during the opening week of a shopping plaza in Mpumalanga, police said on Tuesday.

Police spokesperson Captain Malcolm Mokomene said the police were receiving daily reports of violent crime at the Kwamhlanga Plaza. The shopping centre is located at a busy intersection on the road from Pretoria to Moloto, in Mpumalanga north-east of the city. It is served by an extensive bus and taxi network.

Residents from surrounding villages and commuters to and from Pretoria use the supermarket, banks, shops and take-away food and liquor outlets at the centre.

Mokomene said police had received reports of robberies and rapes every day since the plaza opened on July 31. Most of the incidents happened after 6pm when the lighting was poor.

He said it was apparent rapists and armed robbers were operating out of the surrounding villages. Police appealed to the community to help by reporting people known to be engaged in criminal activities.

Mokomene said anyone who had any information could contact the police anonymously on the toll free Crimestop line 08600-10111. - Sapa

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