WRAP | More than 130 alleged looters appear in various Gauteng courts

14 July 2021 - 06:01 By TimesLIVE
A police officer speaks to an arrested looter in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni, on July 13 2021.
A police officer speaks to an arrested looter in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni, on July 13 2021.
Image: Alon Skuy

July 14 2021 - 21:46

More than 130 alleged looters appear in various Gauteng courts

More than 130 people appeared in various Johannesburg courts in relation to the ongoing violent protests and rampant looting.

“As per instruction from the national office of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for Directors of Public Prosecutions (DPPs) to allocate these matters to experienced prosecutors who will be working closely with the police to guide investigations into these unrest cases, the NPA in the Gauteng local division has made inroads regarding several dockets that were brought to the various lower courts of the division,” said NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane.

July 14 2021 - 21:36

Shoprite already rebuilding and restocking as unrest continues

The Shoprite group says it is working “around the clock” to restock and rebuild affected stores in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng where unrest continues to grip communities.

The retail group said it would reopen stores for business when it was safe for both customers and employees to do so.

In other parts of the country all the group’s stores are operational and fully stocked.

July 14 2021 - 21:17

Defence minister admits security cluster was caught napping on shopping mall looting

Defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has admitted that the country's security agencies were caught napping with regards to the looting of shopping malls.

She told parliament's joint standing committee on defence that the security cluster leadership had assumed private security companies would look after malls as they are contracted to secure those businesses.

“It never occurred to us that we should move to areas such as malls, particularly because in malls, anywhere, there is always a contract between business itself and private security companies.

July 14 2021 - 19:54

Government wants 25,000 soldiers to deal with rampant looting

Defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to deploy 25,000 soldiers to quell the rampant looting and destruction of property in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Mapisa-Nqakula told parliament's joint standing committee on defence that both Ramaphosa and other party leaders suggested the numbers of army personnel on the ground be increased as the situation was “very bad”.

Earlier on Wednesday, acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said 5,000 soldiers has been deployed — double the initial amount authorised.

July 14 2021 - 19:29

'It's economic sabotage,' says Ntshavheni of riots and looting

Acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni says the government has established the motive behind the ongoing riots and unrest in parts of the country - and says it is "economic sabotage".

Addressing the media on Wednesday, Ntshavheni revealed that those behind the sabotage had been identified and criminal proceedings instituted against them.

"What I can confirm is that it is economic sabotage. But we are not at liberty to announce who is behind it because, if we do that, we will jeopardise the investigation and successful prosecution of the cases."

July 14 2021 - 18:47

Insurance body says looting claims will run into billions, urges affected members to make contact

The SA Insurance Association (Saia) has called on all policyholders who have suffered losses or damage to property or business operations during the violent protests to contact their respective insurance companies or brokers for assistance.

The organisation estimates the damage to run into billions of rand.

“We urge policyholders to ensure that all relevant information for claims registration is provided at the point of registering the claim with their insurer or financial intermediary,” said Saia on Wednesday.

July 14 2021 - 18:47

State of emergency allowed only under threat of war, invasion, disaster, says law expert Pierre de Vos

As calls mount for the declaration of a state of emergency in SA amid violent protests, constitutional law expert Prof Pierre de Vos explains what this entails and what steps the government should take before making a proclamation.

“A state of emergency is allowed only if the life of the nation is threatened by war, invasion and disorder,” said De Vos.

The declaration, he said, must be necessary to restore peace and order.

July 14 2021 - 18:09

Political parties urge Ramaphosa to deploy more soldiers to deal with riots

Leaders of political parties have urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to deploy more soldiers as reinforcement to areas of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal plagued by public violence and rampant looting since the weekend.

The party bosses represented in the National Assembly made their proposals to Ramaphosa during a virtual meeting he convened on Wednesday to discuss measures to stem the violence sparked initially by last week's incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma.

The meeting was attended by all major political parties such as the ANC, the DA, the IFP, the UDM, the FF Plus and other smaller parties — but was snubbed by the EFF.

July 14 2021 - 17:36

'My father's people are committing suicide': Zulu King pleads with rioters

Zulu King Misuzulu kaZwelithini has characterised the violent protests and looting gripping KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng as tantamount to suicide.

This he said as he addressed the Zulu nation from his palace in Ulundi, northern KZN, on Wednesday.

According to the king, the poor people taken advantage of by politicians were the same individuals who would carry the brunt of the consequences of the current looting.

July 14 2021 - 17:03

'We’ll never allow a situation where South Africans don’t have access to food': Ntshavheni

Government is working to try to prevent food shortages, as more than 200 shopping malls or centres have been vandalised in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in violent protests, acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said on Wednesday.

Of these, 156 were in KwaZulu-Natal and 52 in Gauteng. In the KZN incidents, there were 464 cases opened and 1,068 arrests made to date. In Gauteng, 219 cases were opened and 686 arrests made so far.

“With the looting of the shopping malls and centres, communities are raising concerns of food shortages and stoppage of key economic activities. There are also reports of panic buying by members of the public.

July 14 2021 - 16:40

Government lifts ban on large gatherings in bid to quell unrest

The government has lifted the ban on gatherings with immediate effect.

In a notice published in the government gazette on July 14, co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said regulation 21 of the state of disaster had been amended to allow gatherings related to "emergency matters".

Previously, any large gatherings — except for funerals, limited to 50 people — were forbidden under the level 4 regulations.

July 14 2021 - 16:40

40 independent pharmacies in KZN and Gauteng looted and damaged

About 40 pharmacies in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng have been damaged and looted in ongoing riots in the two provinces.

The Independent Community Pharmacy Association (IPCA), which has a pool of 1,100 pharmacies throughout SA, told TimesLIVE on Wednesday that 21 pharmacies in KwaZulu-Natal were looted and damaged.

“One of these pharmacies was burnt to the ground,” said Jackie Maimin, ICPA CEO.

July 14 2021 - 16:37

OPINION | This economic sabotage must be stopped. Now

Road carries 80% of SA’s goods. Simply put, when trucks stop, SA stops. The opportunistic mass looting occurring in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, and the wanton destruction of trucks and goods, has spread to the wholesale and retail sectors, and distribution centres in these two provinces, and there is a real and imminent danger it will spread to other provinces.

What started as sporadic incidents on one or two routes has spread to the total supply chain, affecting the transport legs (all forms, whether local or long-haul), as well as destinations and originations. With the supply chain now affected, the economic effects are far reaching, and the collapse of the supply of all goods will be the immediate result.

July 14 2021 - 16:23

OPINION | SA riots and food security: why there’s an urgent need to restore stability

When South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation on July 12 amid violence and destruction of property in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces, he warned of several risks if the situation was not resolved swiftly. One of them was food security.

A lot has been written about the acts of criminality and the disregard for the rule of law that’s swept parts of the country. Attention has also been given to the underlying factors that make the South African society so fragile. These include rising unemployment, inequality, corruption and poor service delivery.

July 14 2021 - 15:58

Jobs on the line as sugar cane growers lose R211m and counting to arson

The running total of the protest-related damage to SA cane growers stands at 353,000 tonnes of sugar cane lost to arson.

At R600 per tonne, this represents a revenue loss of more than R211m, says the SA Canegrowers' Association.

“Millers have been equally devastated, which has had a knock-on effect on the entire industry,” said chairperson Andrew Russell. “All sugar mills in KwaZulu-Natal have been forced to cease operations as they cannot receive cane or distribute sugar and molasses owing to disruptions to transport routes and blockades at these mills.

July 14 2021 - 15:45

90 pharmacies lost to looting sprees

The SA Pharmacy Council has sounded a warning over the unprescribed use of medications after the looting of pharmacies.

The regulator said it was both distraught and disappointed at the looting sprees in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

As at Wednesday, more than 90 pharmacies “have been destroyed and looted beyond revival,” with KwaZulu-Natal being the hardest hit.

July 14 2021 - 15:33

Nelson Mandela Bay taxi associations take stand against looting

Nelson Mandela Bay taxi owners and drivers stood alongside business owners at the city hall on Wednesday morning to take a stand against threats to loot businesses in the metro.

Bay mayor Nqaba Bhanga told the crowd looting — which is causing mayhem in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng — would not be tolerated in the metro and called on the public to protect businesses in the city.

“We are protecting our country, our women, our parents,” the mayor said. “We have done it in Nelson Mandela [Bay].

“They are not going to come closer here. We’ll protect this city with you,” Bhanga said.

July 14 2021 - 15:22

Amakhosi urge unity against rioters under #ProtectSouthAfrica hashtag

Traditional leaders on Wednesday spoke out against the ongoing vandalism, looting and intimidation of law-abiding residents engulfing KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng, and urged the country to unite behind a #ProtectSouthAfrica initiative.

“We recognise that people might have legitimate concerns [but] violence cannot be a solution,” the National House of Traditional and Khoi-San Leaders, Chairpersons Forum, Contralesa and National Khoi-San Council said in a joint statement.

“As amakhosi across the country, we join President Cyril Ramaphosa, government, law-abiding citizens and all sectors of society in calling for an immediate stop to these disgraceful acts of looting across the country.”

July 14 2021 - 15:20

'We will die for our community': Kasi Brothers hold the line against looters

A group of civic-minded people calling themselves the Kasi Brothers has vowed to keep their community safe as they guard malls in Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria, against looters.

The group of men take shifts at more than four shopping spots in their community — day and night.

“We will die for our kasi,” said Peter Puzzle, a member of the Kasi Brothers.

July 14 2021 - 15:00

LISTEN | Joburg shop & petrol station owners anxious as panic-buying soars and possible shortages loom

Grocery shop managers and petrol station owners have described to TimesLIVE how panic-buying has caught them off guard amid concerns of possible shortages of select essential items not only in KwaZulu-Natal but in Gauteng too.

Violence has gripped SA after looters destroyed shops, blocked roads and burned trucks across the country. The burning of trucks and blocking of the N3 highway between KZN and Gauteng has affected the delivery of items.

Durban shoppers are hunting down the little stock that is available in only a handful of stores.

July 14 2021 - 14:54

Flare-up in taxi war sparks looting alarm in Cape Town city centre

There have been no reports of unrest in the Western Cape, premier Alan Winde said on Wednesday after a taxi violence incident in Cape Town sparked panic among commuters.

Several city centre businesses secured their shops as gunfire at the station deck taxi rank set off rumours that looting had spread from KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said there was an attempt by a "small group" to loot a Khayelitsha shopping centre on Tuesday night.

July 14 2021 - 14:48

LISTEN | Gwede Mantashe urges people to protect their infrastructure

Mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe has urged people to protect their own infrastructure.

“Protect it, it's yours,” he told TimesLIVE, during a visit to the Vosloorus Mall on Gauteng's East Rand.

Mantashe said the working class were being used to “destroy infrastructure that is at their own service”, adding this was a disaster in the making for these battered communities.

“They are going to realise that when this is all over, they will have to travel long distances to buy maize meal instead of walking.”

July 14 2021 - 14:28

Mashaba vows to take Ramaphosa, Cele to court over looting and deaths

Looting and riots in parts of SA stemming from corruption-fuelled factional battles within the ANC could have been averted, says ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba.

The government could have taken proactive steps to protect and preserve the rule of law but failed to do so, he said on Wednesday.

As a result, ActionSA said it would pursue a “groundbreaking” lawsuit against the ruling party, President Cyril Ramaphosa, police minister Bheki Cele and members of the security cluster, among others, for failing to uphold their constitutional duty.

July 14 2021 - 14:26

WATCH LIVE | Zulu king briefs the media on the violence and looting in KZN

July 14 2021 - 13:50

Durban port suffers fallout from looting, violence

Durban port has suffered major disruption after days of unrest, and operations have also been badly affected at the Richards Bay port and on a national freight rail line, logistics and freight companies said on Wednesday.

The violence erupted in KwaZulu-Natal last week after the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma, but has rapidly escalated into widespread looting and destruction, also spreading to Gauteng.

Durban has one of the busiest shipping terminals on the African continent, and is a hub for exports including agricultural commodities and imports like crude oil and petroleum products. Richards Bay is home to a major coal export terminal.

July 14 2021 - 13:47

Maersk shuts key SA operations as looting continues

Maersk has shut down all its depots, warehouses and cold stores in Durban and Johannesburg, a company spokesperson said on Wednesday, as looting in the two cities bearing the brunt of rampaging crowds continued.

“The port of Durban has had many of the terminals shut over the past 24 hours. However at this stage we have not triggered any contingencies that will cause ships not to call at Durban,” said Kerry Rosser, the company’s Africa spokesperson.

July 14 2021 - 13:45

Gauteng EMS calls on armoured vehicle ‘Mfezi’ to respond to emergencies

Gauteng emergency medical services (EMS) was forced to use its armoured vehicle “Mfezi” to respond to calls in the province earlier this week after violence and lawlessness broke out.

“The volatile environment has seen the people of Gauteng struggling to get to their places of employment due to limited access, and services being disrupted across the province.

“Some provincial government services, including vaccination sites in the affected areas, had to temporarily close [on Monday] due to safety concerns for staff and members of the public,” said Gauteng government spokesperson Vuyo Mhaga.

July 14 2021 - 13:35

LISTEN | Boy, 13, dies in crossfire between taxi drivers and looters during Vosloorus rioting

A 13-year-old boy has been shot and killed during a skirmish between taxi drivers and a mob of looters trying to burn down Vosloorus Mall on Gauteng’s East Rand.

Vuso Dlamini was shot dead shortly before lunchtime on Wednesday.

Earlier the body of a looter was found behind the mall.

Taxi drivers from the Katlehong People’s Taxi Association and Ekurhuleni metro police officers have been involved in running battles with looters since the early hours on Wednesday.

July 14 2021 - 13:29

Sharp-eyed grandmothers combat looting and crime

While looters ran through the streets of Johannesburg, grandmother Evelyne turned off her lights, stood by her window and carefully lifted her curtain, surveying the chaos when gunshots and screams filled the night air.The 72-year-old was guarding her property, but she was also gathering information to share with her neighbourhood watch team, made up of a few male patrollers and about a dozen grandmothers in the inner-city’s Bertrams neighbourhood.

“I was scared to go outside but I heard gunshots coming from a nearby shop and groups of men running through the streets,” said Evelyne, who relayed her observations to her team who then alerted police.

“One man tried to jump over my wall but I shouted through the window and he ran away,” Evelyne, whose full name is being withheld to protect her identity, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

July 14 2021 - 13:27

Bread becomes a scarce commodity due to violence in KZN and Gauteng

Bread is becoming a scarce commodity in shops that remain open as bakeries cannot operate due to violence in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Siobhan O’Sullivan of Premier Foods, which produces Blue Ribbon bread, said operations had been significantly affected by ongoing protests and looting in the two provinces.

“Some of our operations have been impacted, mostly due to employees not being able to get to work. Our priority is the health and safety of our employees, and we are doing our utmost to ensure they are not put at risk. We have not been able to deliver staple foods in KwaZulu-Natal since Sunday,” she said in response to a query from TimesLIVE.

July 14 2021 - 12:53

‘Worst looting and violence seen’: private security firm guarding malls

Protests and looting which saw store shelves stripped bare in Gauteng have been the worst encountered by law enforcement, a private security firm said on Wednesday.

“If you look at the looting and the masses involved in it, and it has been everywhere, it has definitely been the worst,” said Fidelity Services Group CEO Wahl Bartmann.

Two of the company’s staff died during the chaos and several have been injured.

“It has been very difficult and it is costing our customers, the public and SA. I think it has a huge economic impact.”

July 14 2021 - 12:50

Bheki Cele commends Tshwane residents preventing ‘thugs’ looting

Police minister Bheki Cele on Wednesday described the situation in Tshwane as “satisfying”.

Cele said the situation in the metro, where community members have banded together to protect shops from looters, was quite different to what has been happening in some areas in Johannesburg.

While on his visit to malls in the Tshwane area, Cele stopped at the Nkomo Village centre in Atteridgeville.

“One strong element here is working with the community. We welcome that people are working with the police,” he said.

July 14 2021 - 12:35

No need to panic-buy petrol after closure of refinery, there are other suppliers: AA

Motorists should not panic-buy as there is no official confirmation that there is a fuel shortage.

This is the word from the Automobile Association (AA) on Tuesday after the country's largest crude-oil refinery, Sapref, shut down operations on Monday amid the ongoing violence in KwaZulu-Natal.

The refinery is owned by Shell and BP, and is a key supplier of fuel for SA.

Shell and BP were not immediately available to comment on what impact the closure of the refinery would have on supply to petrol stations.

July 14 2021 - 11:37

Meet the volunteer behind the post-looting cleanup movement

As traumatised South Africans hunker down during the third wave of Covid-19 infections while looting and destruction continue in hotspots around the country, one person who has chosen not to be overwhelmed is Emelda Masango.

Masango, 25, lives in Johannesburg’s Crown Mines suburb and works in retail as a receptionist. Her company decided to shut down on the weekend in the hopes of not being looted during the violent attacks that had spread to Gauteng. All staff were told to stay home.

“I was feeling so sad about all the things going on around me, and I wanted to do something to help and make things better,” she told TimesLIVE.

July 14 2021 - 11:36

‘The army is not the solution, Ramaphosa must engage the people’ — #FeesMustFall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile

The deployment of the army to areas impacted by violent protests is not the solution SA needs.

This is according to Fees Must Fall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile, who also said President Cyril Ramaphosa must go on the ground and engage with the masses, listen to their grievances and commit to solutions.

“Not even an army of men can stop an idea whose time has come. When the people have taken the decision, you can deploy the entire army around the entire country but if we as South Africans have taken a particular stance, you cannot kill us all.

July 14 2021 - 11:35

Live rounds allegedly fired as taxi drivers try to stop looting in Vosloorus

Taxi drivers guarding Vosloorus Mall on the Gauteng East Rand have opened fire with what is believed to be live ammunition on looters on Wednesday morning.

In an exchange of gunfire, which lasted five minutes, taxi drivers from the Katlehong People's Taxi Association opened fire on hundreds of looters who were gathering outside the mall. 

The mall was ransacked overnight with looters pillaging a butchery, Boxer furniture store and grocery stores.

July 14 2021 - 11:11

Petrol bombs, gunshots and anxiety — a loota continua

A line of snaking trucks and impatient sedans around Peacevale on the N3, where police stood guard as cleanup teams poured sand over the fiery remnants of pro-Jacob Zuma protests, was the only snag to our road trip to the hinterland on Friday.

It was meant to be a weekend of memory-making with family and healing post Covid-19 pneumonia, in an isolated setting far from the madding crowd. 

The roads were a breeze and we made good time, so much so that a detour to the Estcourt correctional facility to see where the country’s most infamous inmate was residing seemed too good to miss.

July 14 2021 - 10:44

Violent looting is a serious threat and cannot be sugar-coated, says Maimane

One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane has weighed in on the ongoing violent looting in the country, saying it is a serious threat not to be sugar-coated.

Over the past few days, rampant rioting and looting has been taking place in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng under the banner “Shutdown SA”. It was initially linked to the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma.

Expressing dismay at the situation, Maimane said the lawlessness and looting was a sign that the ANC had lost all moral authority and was dead and buried.

July 14 2021 - 10:13

SAMA calls for protection of medical staff, patients during violent protests

The SA Medical Association (SAMA) on Wednesday called for the department of health to look into effective ways of safely getting patients to medical care facilities amid unrest in some parts of the country.

The association asked for contingency plans for airlifting and inter-facility transportation of patients, as some roads are closed due to the protests.

SAMA called on the health department, police and military to protect medical staff as they try to deliver essential services.

July 14 2021 - 10:12

WATCH | From the sky: Looting in SA shocks the world with apocalyptic visuals

Aerial footage showed mobs ransacking and setting ablaze shopping malls and buildings in cities across SA on Tuesday, with dozens of people reported killed as grievances initially unleashed by the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma boiled over into the worst violence in years.

The protests that followed Zuma’s arrest last week have widened into looting and destruction and an outpouring of anger over the hardship and inequalities that persist 27 years after the end of apartheid.

Looters raided warehouses and supermarkets in Durban, which is one of the busiest shipping terminals on the African continent and an import-export hub.

July 14 2021 - 09:52

Police escort oxygen tankers to hospitals as violent protests continue

Staff and pharmaceutical shortages, temporary closures and treating patients for protest-related injuries are additional pressures on an already constrained healthcare system in SA.

Netcare CEO Dr Richard Friedland said a distribution centre for a major supplier of pharmaceutical goods was looted on Tuesday and the hospital group had to fly in emergency supplies.

He said police escorts were accompanying oxygen tankers to Netcare hospitals.

July 14 2021 - 09:32

WATCH | Doctor devastated after rooms ransacked at Soweto mall

On Tuesday morning, business owners at Soweto’s Diepkloof Mall awoke to their offices and workplaces ransacked and severely damaged. 

The owner of a small medical centre in the facility, Dr Thabile Vezi, arrived to discover that her doctor's rooms had been overrun and looted.

“My thoughts were: ‘We’re a medical centre, we’ll be spared,’ mainly because we’re servicing the community in terms of their health needs, but also because there’s nothing to loot. It’s a medical centre,” said the devastated doctor.

July 14 2021 - 09:00

Afrox confirms its operations in Durban are secure

Afrox, the sole supplier of gases and oxygen to SA’s hospitals,  said on Wednesday its centres in Durban remain unaffected by rioting and violence.

There was speculation on social media on Wednesday morning that the group’s facilities were on fire.

“Afrox’s centres in Durban remain secure and unaffected by rioting, contrary to media and Twitter speculation,” said Afrox spokesperson Nolundi Rawana.

July 14 2021 - 09:14
JZ Foundation says reports of ‘delegation’ visiting Zuma in prison are untrue

The Jacob Zuma Foundation on Tuesday night refuted a media report claiming a “high powered delegation” was to meet former president Jacob Zuma in prison to negotiate his release.

“The foundation has received spurious reports about some supposed delegation that claims to have visited [former] president Zuma at the prison in Estcourt today. All such reports must be dismissed as fake. [Former] president Zuma is committed to the rescission application at the ConCourt,” the foundation tweeted.

July 14 2021 - 08:59

Unrest hits farming, threatens food supply

SA farmers have been hit by days of unrest and looting as trucks carrying produce are prevented from delivering to markets and threatening food supplies, industry officials said.

Crowds have this week clashed with police and ransacked shopping malls, with dozens reported killed as grievances unleashed by last week’s jailing of former president Jacob Zuma boiled over into the worst violence in years.

Some of the country’s major highways have been closed.

July 14 2021 - 08:00

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

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.

July 14 2021 - 07:25

Arctic temperatures cool down looting in Gauteng while KZN riots persist

Sporadic looting in Gauteng seemed to have cooled down on Tuesday evening.

The military rolled through the streets of Alexandra, which were still littered with burnt tyres, rocks and other debris.  

The flames in Alex belonged to soldiers keeping themselves warm in temperatures that dipped below zero.

Earlier, police minister Bheki Cele toured the ruins. 

Arrests, he said, were part of the solution, “but the time has come for us to chase the instigators and agitators”.

July 14 2021 - 07:09

Explosions ring out as Queen Nandi Drive burns

The terrifying sound of explosions could be heard in Durban on Wednesday morning as a blaze raged on Queen Nandi Drive.

Residents in the area could not confirm if the fire was at the Massmart warehouse or gas company Afrox.

The blaze started on Tuesday night.

Several neighbouring warehouses and office buildings were also set alight.

July 14 2021 - 06:53

‘We are going after the instigators’: Cele says there are forces behind mass looting

Sporadic violence and incidents of looting continued throughout areas in Gauteng on Monday night. Businesses in Soweto’s Diepkloof Mall awoke to their businesses ransacked and severely damaged. 

July 14 2021 - 06:30

Diepsloot residents launch 'door-to-door campaign' to recover looted items

The Diepsloot Residents' Association went on a door-to-door operation to recover items that were looted by community members from a nearby shopping centre. 

Akim Zulu, the secretary of the association, said they received tip-offs on Tuesday morning on where the stolen items were within the community.

“When things happened, we had a meeting early in the morning and we decided to stay at Bambanani [mall] to stop community members from looting as there were some who wanted to go back to loot.

“We managed to get some information from residents, saying they saw some people running into the community from the mall. We then decided to a do door-to-door search to recover the items.”

July 14 2021 - 06:20

All bets are off as looting shows no sign of stopping

Deadly protests in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng showed no signs of letting up on Tuesday even as the authorities pledged to clamp down on the violence and the army was deployed.

Hundreds of shops in the two provinces, which account for about half of SA’s economic output, were looted, and major highways have been blocked. KZN premier Sihle Zikalala put the death toll at 26 while his Gauteng counterpart David Makhura said there had been 19 fatalities, including 10 that occurred during a stampede at a Soweto mall.

Rioting continued in several Gauteng townships, including Alexandra, Diepsloot, Vosloorus and Mamelodi, although calm prevailed in Johannesburg’s city centre, which bore the brunt of the violence on Monday. 

July 14 2021 - 06:10

EBRAHIM HARVEY | If this anarchic violence isn’t stopped, SA’s democracy will die

SA this week experienced probably the most destructive anarchic violence in its history. It appeared to be largely a consequence of the 15-month jail sentence meted out to former president Jacob Zuma by the Constitutional Court two weeks ago. But the irony of this clearly orchestrated and devastating mass brutality, which led to widespread looting, largely in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, is that it probably is an extension of and connected to the unlawful mayhem which began in Nkandla last week in reaction to his sentencing.

After many hours of watching this shocking news on television and listening to the accompanying commentary, I found a distinct paucity in understanding of the causal factors underlying the widespread destruction of property, looting and violence. Even during the worst brutality of the apartheid era we did not see such horrendous and widespread looting.

July 14 2021 - 06:05

'It's not about Zuma ... They're having a party': Joburg resident shares tale of living above deadly riots

For the past two days, Noma Vundla and her family and neighbours have been observing the carnage on the streets below their flat in Berea, Johannesburg. 

What started as a protest against the imprisonment of Jacob Zuma has disintegrated into looting sprees and chaos in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

From the safety of their small home, this family, who escaped the poverty in their homeland in Plumtree, Zimbabwe, have witnessed many instances of looting and xenophobic violence before - but nothing like this.

"This time is bad. We aren't safe to walk around the streets. Looters are even looting from each other. I can't carry my groceries in case they get stolen - but I also can't find any groceries anyway. I keep my children locked away from everything. If they need to go outside they can stand on the balcony, but they must stay inside. I must also feed them. I can't find any food in the shops. 

July 14 2021 - 06:00

SA’s money flow runs dry as riots force cash-in-transit firms to halt services

Deadly protests which are gripping Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal’s towns and cities are set to create a potentially devastating cash crisis, with cash-in-transit companies stopping the collection and delivery of money to businesses and ATMs.

On Tuesday, after wide-scale looting overnight which saw banks and ATMs broken into and millions of rand in cash stolen, G4S announced that because of the volatile situation, it had “scaled back” cash collection and delivery services in affected areas.

The announcement followed a similar decision by Fidelity Cash Management Services, which on Monday announced that because of raids on banks and ATMs at shopping malls, it was stopping services.

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