WATCH: South African youth call for ‘criminal looting’, civil unrest to stop
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This comes as the country has entered an extended adjusted level 4 lockdown due to a rise in Covid-19 cases.
Young people have recorded videos appealing to all those who have taken part in the looting and destruction of property to stop. Amanda Gumede said the unprecedented scenes that played out last week had occupied her mind for hours.
“Our country is burning. Every time we step outside, or turn on the news, something is burning. People's jobs, homes, people are burning. Without pointing any fingers and putting the blame on anyone, I ask us all to stop,” she said.
Gumede acknowledged that while people have the right to be angry, their anger should not be directed at the wrong people.
“Yes, we're angry. Yes, we're hungry. Yes, we don't have jobs and we're fed up. We all have the right to be angry. But our anger is directed at the wrong places. We are putting at risk our futures, and playing with the livelihoods of other people,” she said.
The young woman said it was sad to see people crying because their workplaces had been razed.
“They have no jobs. How are they going to put food on the table for their families? How are they still going to hope for a better and brighter future for their children when all of those hopes and dreams have caught fire?” she said.
Gumede said that while it was impossible to go back and change what had happened, it was still possible to change the outcome.
“The ripple effect is very scary, and there is a lot of collateral damage. We have already started suffering, and we will continue to suffer if we do not stop. All we have right now is each other,” she said.
A young boy, known only to The Mercury as Aya, addressed the looters in a video and asked what their actions would teach children.
He said they had destroyed the country, shops, schools and had caused many people to go hungry.
“Please can you keep our country safe because what are we going to do, we’re not going to have school if you destroy everything,” he said.
In another video circulating on social media, a man is brought to tears as he pleads for the unrest to stop.
“I’m warning you my brothers and sisters in South Africa, stop what you are doing, don't burn our country, Im begging you … don't destroy what we have. What we have now is for me and you and for our kids,” he said.
He urged those who took part in the civil unrest to think of future generations and what would be left for them if the country was destroyed.