Cape Town Central police have confirmed that rumours about a shooting and looting in the city centre this morning are false.
Communities are on edge following taxi violence reported in Bellville and Langa, among other areas, and widespread looting in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
Police spokesperson Captain Ezra October informed the CapeTowner that there was no shooting.
He said commuters ran for safety after a taxi backfired while there was a heated argument between taxi associations.
People ran for cover inside St George’s Mall and the Golden Acre, and thought there were looters, but no looting has taken place.
Premier Alan Winde’s spokesperson, Cayla Murray, said shop owners closed all doors and Law Enforcement moved the crowd from the mall.
Police were on the scene in a matter of minutes and the situation has been stabilised.
Both malls are re-opened, and no damage to property was reported.
The Western Cape Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC) has urged the public not to share unverified information pertaining to social unrest on social platforms including WhatsApp and twitter.
The PDMC can confirm as of 6pm last night, there have been no verified incidents of looting reported for any region in the Western Cape.
The MEC of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell, said the sources of information to rely on and to share are the official sources. These include the Western Cape Government website and social media pages.
“The ongoing proliferation of fake news via old photos or voice notes and other means is leading to distress amongst the public and making our work harder as we try to ensure the situation remains under control in the Western Cape. Please verify the information you wish to share with your contacts before you pass it along. If it cannot be verified from an official source, it is in all likelihood fake.”