Stolen goods recovered from looters will be used as evidence in court cases and then destroyed, the government said yesterday.
Law enforcement agencies have embarked on a painstaking mission to recover goods looted from shopping centres in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng last week.
However, the government has no plans to return the items to their respective shops.
During a media briefing, Acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said the recovered goods would be destroyed as their resale value will have a negative impact on the economy.
"Those goods, if they circulate in the market, will depreciate the value of other goods. We cannot afford to collapse the economy by allowing stolen goods to be circulated,” she said.
Police have already recovered fridges, bicycles, beds and other goods taken during riots last week.
In Durban, a store employee and three other people were nabbed after Metro Police recovered 12 gearboxes buried in his yard.
Durban Metro Police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Parbhoo Sewpersad said: “A citizen contacted police about a staff member he had suspected of looting his shop.
“The alleged suspect’s house was pointed out in Sea Cow Lake and upon arrival the suspect was attempting to flee.
“Police apprehended him and upon inspection discovered 12 gearboxes buried in the yard.
“There was (also) a large quantity of flat screen TVs, clothing, a sound system to the value of about R200 000 among other things.”
Meanwhile, former Ukhozi FM DJ and TV presenter Ngizwe Mchunu, one of the alleged instigators of the mass looting, will remain behind bars after the Randburg Magistrates’ Court denied his bail application on Tuesday as he was deemed a flight risk.
Mchunu surrendered himself to the police on Monday.
The matter was postponed to 28 July.