WATCH: Community thwarts looters at Maponya Mall

By Ntombi Nkosi Time of article published Jul 14, 2021

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Johannesburg – A number of communities across Gauteng have stood up against looting including community members in Soweto, KwaThema in Ekurhuleni, Soshanguve and other parts in the City of Tshwane.

Despite the efforts of community members attempting to stop looters, there were some sporadic incidents of violence and looting that have continued for the most part of Wednesday.

This week major shopping malls such as Jabulani Mall, Dobsonville Mall, Diepkloof Mall in Soweto were destroyed and vandalised by looters.

However, attempts to loot the Maponya Mall were thwarted as community members gathered to protect it.

Addressing scores of community members of Pimville and other areas surrounding the Maponya Mall, State Security Agency (SSA) Deputy Minister Zizi Kodwa condemned the acts of violence looting and encouraged people to desist from destroying their own infrastructure.

People from all walks of life formed human chain discouraging potential looters.

“We call on all communities to say no to looting, people who are really behind these anarchy are not those that are looting, they are using the poor conditions of people who are unemployed, particularly the youth.

“There are people who we are investigating that we know are behind planning this. These people are using our conditions because the majority of people are unemployed. We must refuse to destroy our own properties,” said Kodwa,

Kodwa added that in the end people would suffer and be affected by food shortages, no fuel or paraffin and would be forced to travel to the city.

After addressing the community, Kodwa and some members moved to other parts of Soweto to encourage people to continue protecting the infrastructure.

“As we aim to protect the infrastructure, we must do it with discipline. When we go to (Shoprite) a few of us should go there so that we don’t break lockdown alert level 4 regulations. We must protect one another and protect the economy of Soweto. The truth shall come out on who are the people behind this,” said Kodwa.

Community leader Nhlanhla Lux and his team have been applauded by many in the country for their courage to protect Maponya Mall.

“We were very lucky that most of the time when we were confronted by the looters the law enforcement were there; we are not just a vigilante movement, we are a properly organised movement.

“Whenever we arrested criminals we handed them over to the police. When black people unite, such success is possible because we managed to overcome people with big machine guns and we managed to protect Maponya Mall which is the only mall that was not looted in Soweto,” said Lux.

Lux added that the Maponya Mall was the biggest and one can imagine if it was looted how many people would be without jobs.

“It is important because we are saving jobs and we are saving lives. Right now in Soweto the spaza-shops are looted, we have a serious food-security crisis. Grandmothers are telling us that they have chronic illnesses and on chronic medication and they need to eat first and they are struggling to get bread,” Lux said..

He said he and the team had been shot at but they knew the risks of taking the mission to protect Maponya Mall.

Lux added that he was happy that they are getting support from law enforcement and wished more officers could be deployed in their area.

At the Vosloorus Crossing Shopping Centre, armed taxi operators stepped in to assist in discouraging a group who wanted to loot the mall while the police were standing in front of it.

Political Bureau

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