WRAP | Rebuilding SA: Gateway mall put on high alert amid fresh looting threats

19 July 2021 - 06:19
By TimesLIVE
Debris in the street following rioting in the Soweto district of Johannesburg, South Africa, on Thursday, July 15, 2021.
Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg/ File photo Debris in the street following rioting in the Soweto district of Johannesburg, South Africa, on Thursday, July 15, 2021.

July 19 2021 - 19:54

Deliveries back on track as large retail chains resume supplying food and other products

The trade and industry department says large retail outlets have reported that the supply of food and other products to SA stores and neighbouring countries is largely back on track.

This comes after the supply of food and other goods was disrupted by violent protest and looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng last week and into the early part of the weekend.

“SA’s three largest retail groups, with stores throughout the region, noted that disruptions were mainly the result of the pressures on the N3 corridor from the Durban port and interruptions in supply from factories in KZN. Goods sourced from South African manufacturers elsewhere in the country have largely been unaffected,” the department said.

July 19 2021 - 19:22 

'Not supported by facts': Presidency hits back at defence minister's insurrection denial

There is no truth to any suggestion that the recent violence and rioting in parts of SA were anything less than an insurgency.

Acting minister in the presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, made this statement on Monday after apparently conflicting government views.

Defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told parliament on Sunday there was no evidence to suggest that the recent unrest was a coup or an insurrection. She said it was her view that the military was, instead, seeing signs of a “counterrevolution creeping in, in the form of criminality and thuggery”.

July 19 2021 - 18:38

Consumer watchdog warns of R1m fines for price gouging during disaster

The National Consumer Commission (NCC) has warned suppliers to not inflate prices of “essential” items that are listed under the consumer and customer protection and national disaster management regulations.

The NCC said a supplier or person found to be in contravention of the regulations could be fined up to R1m, fined up to 10% of a firm’s annual turnover, or be jailed for up to a year.

“This comes after reports of possible food shortages in both KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng after public unrest,” said the NCC in a statement.

July 19 2021 - 17:54

Gateway mall put on high alert amid fresh looting threats

Additional security measures were in place at Gateway Theatre of Shopping in Umhlanga, north of Durban, on Monday amid fresh threats of looting, according to the police.

Police minister Bheki Cele visited several malls in KwaZulu-Natal, including Liberty Midlands Mall in Pietermaritzburg, The Pavilion in Westville and Gateway.

Last week the province was plunged into chaos when looters plundered electronic goods warehouses, retail outlets and several malls over several days, causing billions in damages.

July 19 2021 - 17:26

WATCH | Jacob Zuma supporter and former Ukhozi presenter leaves police headquarters in handcuffs for Gauteng

Former Ukhozi FM presenter and Jacob Zuma supporter Ngizwe Mchunu left police headquarters in Durban in handcuffs on Monday and is headed to Gauteng to face charges.

The police would not immediately confirm the charges but Mchunu — wearing a buff and scarf bearing the South African flag — told followers on social media that he was sought in connection with being an instigator in riots that plunged KwaZulu-Natal into chaos last week.

Mchunu, has called for Zuma to be set free after his incarceration two weeks ago at the Estcourt correctional facility in compliance with the Constitutional Court order.

July 19 2021 - 17:18

Police evidence rooms 'full' as looted goods are being recovered: Bheki Cele

Police minister Bheki Cele says evidence rooms are full as goods are being confiscated from looters.

On Monday the police recovered thousands of rand worth of items stolen from warehouses and retail stores in Durban during widespread looting in KwaZulu-Natal last week.

“They are going to SP13, where police keep anything that might be used in giving evidence. There is a meeting between the police and the NPA to work out what will happen to the goods,” Cele said.

July 19 2021 - 14:39

Phoenix tuck shop writes off customers' debt to ease financial burden caused by unrest

A Durban tuck shop owner has written off about R8,000 worth of debt to allow her customers to “heal” and move forward financially after the unrest that swept through KwaZulu-Natal.

Jessica Shah owns the Bridgevale Tuck Shop in Phoenix, north of Durban, and was worried and restless after hearing that many shops had increased their prices as affected communities scrambled for basic food supplies after looting and violent protests.

Her customers often bought bread, milk, oil, rice, toilet rolls, flour and detergents on credit.

July 19 2021 - 14:34

WATCH | 'Nothing can get us down if we work together': Prayer warriors unite at looted malls in Gauteng

Gospel songs and prayer have become a rallying force behind efforts to rebuild malls and shopping centres trashed by looters in Gauteng.

Prayer warriors gathered to pray and worship at Evaton Mall in Emfuleni and The Glen Shopping Centre in Johannesburg South to quell tensions.

At the Glen Shopping Centre on Sunday, scores of people and staff gathered to sing How Great is our God and the national anthem.

July 19 2021 - 13:59

Malema wants DA to retract and apologise for incitement allegations

EFF leader Julius Malema wants the DA to retract and apologise for allegations it made that he incited violence last week, and is threatening to sue the party and its leader John Steenhuisen for R1m.

July 19 2021 - 13:38

WATCH | Soweto mall owner’s heartbreaking walk through looted mall

More than 200 malls have been looted in SA since July 7. The violence erupted in KwaZulu-Natal soon after former president Jacob Zuma was taken into custody to begin serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court and quickly spread to Gauteng, resulting in a large number of retail properties being damaged and looted in both provinces.

July 19 2021 - 13:29

'It appears I may not have a job. It’s hectic and I am confused': Mayhem in Mayfield leaves workers in despair

After three years of unemployment, Gladys Ntshiba, 51, felt happy when she got a job as a frozen-goods packer at Meat World in Mayfield Square shopping centre in Daveyton, situated in Gauteng’s East Rand.

July 19 2021 - 13:13

Durban bakery to probe inflated bread prices, some as high as R40 a loaf

BB Bakeries will launch an investigation into inflated bread prices which Durban residents claim they have been forced to pay by the company's truck drivers and local tuck shops.

The Durban-based bakery — which resumed operations on Friday after being affected by unrest and looting — said in a notice posted to its Facebook page: “With regard to price price hikes and bread being sold to the public directly from trucks, we’d like to notify our BB Bakeries community that our bread price has not changed, and we will investigate any scenario where bread is being sold at inflated prices.

“If you come across  or have any details of illicit activity (area, driver and/or vehicle information), please notify us so we’re able to investigate.”

July 19 2021 - 12:57

WATCH | Police recover looted goods including beds, electronic goods and mag wheels

On Monday police recovered thousands of rands worth of items stolen from warehouses and retail stores in Durban during widespread looting in KwaZulu-Natal last week.  

Police minister Bheki Cele, who was scheduled to visit Pietermaritzburg and malls in Durban, was delayed as police acted on tip-offs from community members on the whereabouts of stolen property in areas in and around the Durban CBD.

Some residents also heeded calls to voluntarily surrender stolen goods. 

July 19 2021 - 12:57

Phoenix man was crushed to death by taxi rushing to loot mall: eyewitness

A speeding minibus taxi allegedly ploughed into and killed a Phoenix man while he was discussing wanton looting in his area with neighbours a week ago.

Radesh Shanganlall, 55, of Southgate, was laid to rest on Sunday after his family was forced to wait for crematoriums to reopen following the unrest that gripped KwaZulu-Natal.

Eye-witness Gary Govindsamy told TimesLIVE he and Shanganlall, his son and another neighbour were discussing the looting taking place at their local shopping centre last Monday when the tragedy occurred.

July 19 2021 - 12:31

Former Ukhozi DJ to hand himself over at Durban Central police station over violence and anarchy in KZN

There is a large media presence outside the Durban central police station, where former Ukhozi FM DJ and commentator Ngizwe Mchunu is expected to hand himself over to officers.

July 19 2021 - 11:05

These types of messages can land you with a fine or up to 15 years in jail

This is according to the Cybercrimes Act signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa. 

The act was signed last month and has once again been thrust into the spotlight, after the arrests of three alleged instigators of the violent unrest and looting in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.  

Two of the alleged instigators are expected on Monday to appear before the Randfontein and Westonaria courts respectively.

The suspects were arrested on Thursday and Friday on allegations of “creating and circulating inflammatory messages with the potential of inciting violence”.

July 19 2021 - 10:51

‘I urge you not to lose hope — remain calm,’ Alan Winde tells Western Cape residents amid unrest

Western Cape residents must maintain non-violence and not lose hope during ongoing unrest in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. 

This is the message conveyed by premier Alan Winde on Sunday in commemoration of Nelson Mandela Day.

The two provinces have been embroiled in violent protests and looting and destruction of infrastructure and businesses for more than a week. The demonstrations started in KwaZulu-Natal when supporters of former president Jacob Zuma called for his release from the Estcourt Correctional Centre, where he is serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of a Constitutional Court order. 

July 19 2021 - 10:39

Impact of violence, looting will be felt most by the poor in coming months: Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa has made an impassioned plea for South Africans to work together to mitigate the effects of unrest and riots that destroyed property and led to the loss of more than 200 lives.   

The true impact of the destruction would be felt mostly by the poor in the coming months, he said on Monday. 

“Businesses have been destroyed and livelihoods lost at a time when we are already feeling the strain one-and-a-half years into a global pandemic. The economic damage has sapped many of the budding shoots of recovery we were witnessing a few weeks ago.   

“As we work to stabilise the country and secure essential supplies and infrastructure, we must work together to mitigate the effects of this unrest on society’s most vulnerable,” Ramaphosa wrote in his weekly newsletter.    

July 19 2021 - 07:56

Pietermaritzburg was a dump long before the riots

The effects of the past week’s unrest and destruction of property will have dire consequences for the KwaZulu-Natal capital, where residents have watched for years how their city has been ruined.

July 19 2021 - 07:28

More than 50 KZN schools ‘torched, looted and damaged’ in unrest

More than 50 schools have been damaged, torched and looted during the unrest that has gripped KwaZulu-Natal.

Provincial education departmental spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi confirmed that more than 50 schools, two circuit offices and two education centres were hit as violence spread throughout the province.

“Some were looted, torched and damaged. We have not been able to quantify the extent of the damage and the number of schools at this point in time. Unlike during the lockdown, when our officials were able to go around to establish all the facts, their mobility is limited this time around,” he told TimesLIVE.

July 19 2021 - 06:46

WENDY KNOWLER | Shopkeepers join in on the looting with price gouging

It’s taken me 23 years of consumer journalism to look up the definition of “consumer”, a word I have typed a gazillion times and, for the past decade, mostly with the words “Protection Act” behind it.

Google gave me: “A person who purchases goods and services for personal use,” followed by some context: “Understanding what motivates consumers is more crucial than ever.”

Of course, that definition doesn’t apply to those who took part in the orgy of acquisition we witnessed in parts of our country last week.

Those consumers were not in need of protection of any kind as they picked and didn’t pay; kept their cash (if they had any) and carried.

July 19 2021 - 06:33

‘I never want to feel that way again’: the day the most stoic people cried

I had seen my husband cry only twice until Tuesday night.

The first was when his mother died in 2009 and the second when we learned that our IVF, to conceive a child after many years of trying, was successful.

On Tuesday night, he watched via his cellphone a group of looters break into his office.

On his tablet, a car tracking app showed that vehicles were being tampered with.

In less than two hours, 10 company vehicles were stolen.

July 19 2021 - 06:20

JUSTICE MALALA | Never forget the people in plush houses who tried to plunge SA into war

We must not underplay what the instigators of last week’s devastating events in SA wanted to achieve. What we saw was a malevolent plan to take us to war and turn our beautiful, peaceful, imperfect and democratic country into a broken nation and failed state.

It was a deliberate and calculated campaign to turn poor against rich, black against white and Indian, Zulu against Xhosa, haves against have-nots — and for the instigators to watch as we shot each other, invaded each other’s homes, barricaded ourselves against each other, railed against each other and ultimately killed each other.

These are not nice people. They torched more than 30 trucks so there would be food shortages in KwaZulu-Natal. They wanted starvation. They wanted bedlam and bloodletting. They wanted lawlessness. They wanted to give us a place where the armed man is in charge, while the woman and the child get violated and are at the mercy of the militia. These are terrible people. Last week they were at the door.

July 19 2021 - 06:16

Funeral parlours are running out of coffins as Covid and looting take their toll

Looters made off with at least  50 coffins, worth an estimated R300,000, when they hit Vuyo Mabindisa’s funeral parlour in Soweto last week.

“About 60% of the coffins were recovered but they were damaged so we can’t use them. I feel sad that because those places were looted, many people are now going to lose their jobs.”

He said the survival of his business was under threat, as it was increasingly challenging to get more coffins.

“Due to the riots, we are now struggling to get coffins because the manufacturers cannot get the raw materials to make them. We now have to postpone funerals,” he said.

July 19 2021 - 06:12

Dividing lines: Phoenix at epicentre of looting, racial tension and violence in KZN

Residents in Phoenix, north of Durban, took up arms to protect their families and community after violence and looting gripped areas in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Suspected looters were allegedly shot by residents manning barricades at almost every intersection in Phoenix. 

Illuminated by fires that litter streets in the area, one community member, who did not want to be named, brandished a revolver while saying, “If you are looting, we are shooting”.

July 19 2021 - 06:00

EDITORIAL | Riots are a wake-up call that inequality must be addressed

From the ruins of last week’s looting and violent conflicts emerged an outpouring of unity, as many South Africans marked Nelson Mandela Day on Sunday by giving much of their time in pursuit of the broader good in ways not seen before. 

Many in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng put on their cleaning regalia and spent more than their allocated 67 minutes, removing debris and charred remains of torched buildings in a bid to return our country to normal.