IN QUOTES | ‘I can’t say the situation is under control’, says Gauteng premier on protests & looting

14 July 2021 - 08:02 By cebelihle bhengu
Gauteng premier David Makhura has called for an end to looting and violence in the province.
Gauteng premier David Makhura has called for an end to looting and violence in the province.

Gauteng premier David Makhura said on Tuesday the looting and violence in the province are not yet under control.

Briefing the media from the Ndofaya Mall in Soweto, Makhura said there were not enough police to calm the situation and government had lobbied community leaders to help raise awareness and quell the rampant violence. 

SA has been ravaged by violent protests since the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma last week.

The demonstrations started in parts of KwaZulu-Natal, Zuma’s home province, and have spread to areas in Gauteng. 

Here are five quotes from Makhura about government’s response to the unrest: 

The owner of a small medical centre in the Diepkloof mall in Soweto, Dr Thabile Vezi, arrived at work on Tuesday July 13 2021 to discover that her business had been overrun and looted. #Looting #SAUnrest #SouthAfricaisburning Subscribe to MultimediaLIVE here: Comment Moderation Policy:

Stop looting and violence

“It is no longer just the law enforcement agencies that will stop this. The looting and the violence will impact everything. I got a report earlier that our programme for vaccination has slowed down because the mobility of our ambulance services and provision of healthcare services is affected by the blocking of roads.”

Losing lives and livelihoods

“Businesses are shutting down and small businesses in Soweto can no longer operate. Ten people died during a stampede [in Ndofaya Mall]. We understand unemployment and there are those with inadequate food but the looting is something we must stop because it is undermining the economy.”

Mobs of looters overran the Pan Africa Mall in Alexandra, Gauteng on July 12 2021. Violent riots, widespread looting and other criminal elements have flared up in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal since the weekend resulting in approximately 400 arrests and six deaths.

Arrests and deaths

“In Gauteng more than 400 people have been arrested for looting activities and  public violence. The number of those who have died has jumped to 19. A member of the Ekurhuleni metro police department was shot at.”

Situation not under control

“The looting is continuing. I can’t say the situation is under control as long as the looting continues. Where looting has not started is where we have been able to get community leaders and people to stand up and say that looting cannot take place because when shops and factories close down it affects the lives of people.”

Cost of damage 

“We are consolidating what the exact cost of damage is across the province but I can tell you it is a serious setback for our economy. The closing down of small businesses is taking us back in a significant way.”