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In the midst of a deadly third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, South Africa has been brought to its knees. It often feels like a bad apocalyptic movie, except it’s real and ongoing. The widespread looting and plundering in KwaZulu-Natal (and in various other parts of the country) has even the most optimistic amongst us feeling anxious. How will locals find food and petrol? Could this be the final nail in the limping economy’s coffin?
South Africans have been taking to social media to not only voice their anger and sadness but also to call for reason.
Add a few more level 4 and 5’s in the mix, every season where there is a peak… Small and medium businesses are being wiped out.
— Dale Oliver (@DaleOliver17) July 13, 2021
“How do those that explain the chaos by way of poverty explain that for every one looter there must be 500 poor and hungry South Africans that are NOT looting and burning???” asks
— STEPPING STONE OUT NOW (@OleTladi) July 15, 2021
Jacob’s legacy, perfected by cannon fodder criminals. Any excuse to loot and destroy will do,” writes
I hope not! 💔
— Candice-Lee (@CandiceLeeKan) July 14, 2021
he flight of skills that might arise is actually far worse than the destruction of fixed assets and capital flight.”
In an interview with Alec Hogg, Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business CEO Melanie Veness described how the army and members of SAPS looked on as looters filled their cars with stolen goods. She believes that the only way to move forward is to declare a state of emergency.
“At the moment, SAPS and the army are outnumbered, so we will ensure that we have lots more people on the ground, some boots on the ground to be able to take control of the situation. It’s very unfair to law-abiding citizens that are really just bearing the brunt of it. What we need is a show of force that discourages that and arrest and detain people that are behaving inappropriately for our society so that people are discouraged from continuing to do this. If we allow people to continue to act with impunity, they will continue to do that. There’s very little left and we need to save what is left.”
Don’t you dare. We’ve already lost most of our liberties with this covid story, now you want to lose the rest? Crazy!
— David Leclezio (@alexisleclezio) July 14, 2021
Please don’t sign the Declaration for STATE OF EMERGENCY pic.twitter.com/oLGM3lT6P4
— Erika Pirzl (@erika_pirzl) July 14, 2021
“Why is the ‘SA Government’ holding back on a State of Emergency?” asksIn their struggle hero states – Russia, Cuba, and the like – the looters and plunderers would all have been shot dead in a case like this unfolding in SA. But then in SA, with its first world constitution in a third world developing country, undisciplined freedom without responsibility is what it is all about. Anything goes. No boundaries. NO DETERRENT. NO CONSEQUENCES. And the Zulus are stoking it ALONG with African mafias.”
Seeing what is happening in eThekwini, it is clear that President Cyril Ramaphosa must urgently declare a State of Emergency within the eThekwini Metropole to restore peace, law and order in the community and secure the safety of all residents!
— Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) July 15, 2021
…is this seriously the name of this operation? “Prosper”?
That’s like putting lipstick on a pig and telling your family and friends it’s your girlfriend.
— Marco (@jakkals90210) July 13, 2021
As authorities have failed to quell the riots and looting, taxi drivers, private security companies, and ordinary citizens have stepped in to help protect businesses and communities from further destruction.
— Lebogang Magagane (@LMagagane) July 13, 2021
“If the police don’t sort things, natural order kicks in and communities will protect themselves. Of all things, we have already seen the taxi industry protecting people and assets. I would venture the taxi industry has more weapons and people than SAPS. Street and community groups have already mobilised all over, patrolling and barricading. They are in many cases properly armed,” comments Macafrican.
Good for all those who are protecting their communities! This is especially true for the Taxi Associations who are protecting areas along their routes too. Many of these groups are better organised than the police. There are photographs of soldiers patrolling with rifles missing incidental bits and pieces like magazines. Perhaps an intrepid journalist could do an in-depth study to see if these have been altered?”
We have to start somewhere to fix all of this… I’m happy with how We managed to clean the City in Durban.. thanks to all who organised this @Ntenga3ZN thanks bhuti with the initiative and @Santacokzn 🙏 #KZNViolence#ThumaMinaMediaGroup#KingMisuZulu pic.twitter.com/AMrgfoDuWZ
— Prince Ngcobo👑☺🇿🇦 (@prince_ngcobo1) July 14, 2021
“What about Ramaphosa and his jabberwockies? Talking about green shoots and New Dawns and vaccinations of hundreds of thousands of arms per day, and massive overseas investment. He is a raving lunatic with his endlessly repeated cliches and lies. Just remember that he does actually mean one or two things that he says… 1/.whites are the original sin and 2/. we will do EWC whether you like it or not.”
A community member says the government, especially the ruling party, is to blame for the #looting spree that is currently happening.
— Newzroom Afrika (@Newzroom405) July 13, 2021
— duck_shebeleza (@DuckShebeleza) July 15, 2021
According to Bloomberg, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said that troops in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng will be boosted from about 5,000 to 25,000, following a discussion between the government and opposition parties. Apparently more than 1,700 people have been arrested.
Ha ha ha
SANDF troops cannot stamp out anything!
— Hendrik Bibault (@HendrikBilbault) July 15, 2021
What are your thoughts on declaring a state of emergency? Add your voice to the discussion below.
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.