Footsteps signal pending vandalism

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ST p5 mainPOST OFF797 INLSA VANDALS: A Post Office vehicle was set alight during an attack on the mail delivery depot in Zone 10, Sebokeng, yesterday. Pictures: Itumeleng English

Ntombi Ndhlovu

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A mail delivery depot in Sebokeng was vandalised after a mob marched on the depot yesterday.

As they made their way there, there was no chanting or singing, only the sound of more than 2 000 pairs of feet hitting the ground.

“I was in the ground floor office when they came in,” said mail room controller Letta Poolo.

“the cleaning lady was upstairs, and so I decided to keep quiet and not confront them.”

ST p5sec POST OFFI STAMPED OUT: The inside of the mail delivery depot in Sebokeng after it was ransacked by a mob of protesters. INLSA

According to Poolo, they didn’t make a noise as they barged in.

“There was no shouting at all” – just the sound of a hundred sorting presses hitting the floor and bicycles being hurled against the wall and trampled on.”

In the aftermath, the ground floor was littered with scattered letters, rubber bands, fax machines, bicycle wheels, shards of glass from broken windows and sorting-press shelves.

In the process of the vandalism, a mail scale was broken.

“It took us a long time to get that scale, and now it is useless,” Poolo said.

The strike is supported by the Communication Workers Union and involves hundreds of temporary workers, some of whom have been part-time staff employed for more than 10 years.

The SA Post Office says it has neither the capacity nor the budget to employ these workers full-time.

In recent weeks, depots in Tshwane and Rosettenville were also vandalised, and a mail delivery van was burnt.

A Post Office driver, who did not want to be named, said: “I was sitting outside when I saw them coming. You can see their intention in the brisk silent walk that something was going to happen.”

After vandalising the inside of the depot, the mob moved outside and set a delivery van alight.

“I heard them talking – ‘hand me a box of matches, stuff papers into the car’ and then someone opened the petrol tank and everything went ka-boom,” explained the driver. “It all happened so fast, in just 10 minutes.”

Meanwhile, the Post Office has apologised to customers.


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