SA 'knows' where the famous blue sofa is — but who is going to get it back?
A Durban furniture store is closer to recovering its now famous blue couch that was stolen when its showroom was looted a week ago.
The San Pablo Corner Sofa, a genuine leather sectional with “elegantly sloped armrests and supportive headrests”, is at an informal settlement near Quarry Road in Durban.
This is according to social media users, who responded to Leather Gallery's call for information on the whereabouts of the couch.
The couch, which is priced from R67,999, was the subject of a meme when it was photographed at an informal settlement hours after it had been stolen from the Springfield showroom during unrest which swept through Durban.
Leather Gallery made the appeal for information on the whereabouts of its “beloved” sofa, which was “now stranded in the cold”, on Instagram.
Social media users immediately responded, with most giving the exact location, right down to its proximity to the nearest spaza shop.
Leather Gallery owner Greg Parry told TimesLIVE on Thursday that he was overwhelmed with the response received from customers and community about the whereabouts of some of the items stolen from the Leather Gallery Springfield showroom.
“We are in the process of investigating the information received from many individuals. We have taken every tipoff into consideration and are compiling the many reports we received from the public about where some of our furniture could potentially be located,” he said.
Parry said Leather Gallery was mulling its next move.
“We want to take all of the necessary precautions as we understand that the situation is still potentially dangerous and can become volatile at any moment.
“We would love to retrieve as much of our looted stock as possible. However, along with the safety of our customers, our employees' safety is extremely important to us, and we would never want put them in a potentially dangerous environment,” he said.
The SA Police Service did not respond to a query on whether it would recover SA's famous blue couch.
Meanwhile, Parry said along with the rest of KwaZulu-Natal, Leather Gallery was deeply saddened and devastated at the destruction and damage caused by the riots, looting and arson.
“We are extremely fortunate that our warehouses were heavily guarded and so were not affected. Additionally, 10 of our 11 stores were protected by security, police, communities and our own management and owners and so were not affected by the violent looting.
“Unfortunately, as many people are now aware, Springfield Value Centre was severely looted and burnt down. We are heartbroken that our flagship Leather Gallery showroom [there] was completely looted and the building completely burnt as a result of the arsonists.”