đź”’ Alec Hogg: SA looting deliberately planned by “traitors”

It is now crystal clear the deadly chaos which rocked KZN and parts of Gauteng over the past week was a cynical plan hatched by Zuma loyalists and executed with military precision.

Spearheaded by small impi’s of young men armed with automatic weapons, the strategy was to incite Zulu-dominated local communities to swarm commercial enterprises, helping themselves to whatever they found and then setting the centres alight.

The plan only failed because of the resilience of law abiding South Africans, many of whom risked life and limb. Citizens were left to fend for themselves with the SA Police either absent or mere observers of the unprecedented looting orgy. In at least one instance, the local SAPS station was boarded up and its occupants fled to their homes, citing a sudden decision to strike because a demand for higher wages had not been met.

On the upside, citizens stepped up to the plate. Like the man pictured above after the army finally arrived, Mooi River businessman Donovan Carter. Together with a dozen local farmers, he created a shotgun and handgun wielding barrier that successfully resisted the mob. Carter’s service station is one of just three businesses still standing in the KZN Midlands town.

Jason McCormick, whose family has developed 68 rural and township shopping malls over the past four decades, was also in the frontline. In a riveting interview yesterday he explained how the attacks were executed. The sleep deprived businessman told me the shopping malls were attacked by R1 and R4 wielding “outsiders” who first targeted fire fighting equipment so that the centres would be defenceless to the mob’s arson. These small impi’s had incited mostly Zulu-speaking local residents to follow them to the malls, assuring they would neither be shot at nor arrested by the SA Police.

In one centre, a two hour firefight between McCormick’s rubber bullet and birdshot firing “private army” and the invaders was only ended by the intervention of the local taxi association which retaliated with live ammunition. McCormick’s shopping centres in Pietermaritzburg, Newcastle, Ladysmith and Vosloorus were gutted and burnt, while malls elsewhere including in Alexandria and Thembisa were defended, sometimes by human chains of local citizens.

Equally forthright Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, founder of SA’s leading poverty-supporting charity Gift of the Givers, is also deeply plugged into the chaotic events of the past week. Yesterday he shared with me how those who planned and executed the attacks were “traitors” who used the local communities as “cannon fodder.” Another compelling interview – click here.

Over the past 24 hours – and only following the insistence of opposition political parties – the state’s security forces have belatedly arrived at the hot spots. Implications of their absence at the time of the country’s greatest need is yet to be fully absorbed. But coming on top of Zondo Commission disclosures and the ANC’s disastrous handling of the pandemic, SA’s ruling political party has never been more vulnerable.

Among the political leaders now emerging stronger than ever is Herman Mashaba whose Action SA has completed its internal primary elections. In October’s municipal election it will field a candidate in every ward in at least four major metros. Mashaba has also launched a class action law suit against Ramaphosa and his cabinet security chiefs for the cost incurred by businesses and citizens through their dereliction of duty during the past week.

To paraphrase Bobby Godsell, the crisis again emphasised how SA is blessed by its people but cursed by its leaders. Perhaps not indefinitely. July 2021 has every indication of being a watershed – a moment when the frog jumped out of the slowly brought-to-the-boil pot. Hope springs.


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