Soweto residents take a stand against riots, looting. Picture: Nokuthula Zwane/ANA
Soweto residents take a stand against riots, looting. Picture: Nokuthula Zwane/ANA

Soweto residents stand up to reject economic sabotage of looting, riots

By Sihle Mlambo Time of article published Jul 14, 2021

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HUNDREDS of residents in Soweto have strapped up their boots to take action against the economic sabotage of looting and arson around the country.

Several communities in Soweto, including Pimville and Dobsonville, with the aid of the local taxi association and the police, took charge of the streets and are rejecting any further attempts to loot and destroy shopping centres.

Several shopping centres in the township were hit by riots this week, including the Ndofaya Mall in Meadowlands, Soweto, where 10 people died as a result of a stampede on Tuesday.

In Pimville, residents are actively protecting Maponya Mall which was the subject of attempted looting attacks, but these were stopped by alert members of the community.

Zizi Kodwa, the Deputy Minister for State Security, said the instigators of the unrest were well orchestrated.

“They are destroying the distribution food network from Durban so there must be panic in the country so that people can't access food; it is well planned by the instigators.

“That is why we are going to communities talking to people because they do not know what is going on. They are just used and that is why there are incidences where you arrest people and they tell you the truth about people being paid to destabilise (the country), but they do not understand.

“That is why the issue is no longer about former president Jacob Zuma… it is bigger than that. It is about destabilisation, it is about economic sabotage,” Kodwa said, adding that the plan was to create food insecurity.

Speaking to Newzroom Afrika on Tuesday night, one of the community leaders, Nhlanhla Lux, said they had a responsibility to protect their community.

Lux said looting from the community would drive poverty for people in Soweto and cause untold devastation to the same community.

Members of the community in Soweto were also doing door-to-door operations recovering looted goods including appliances and food items.

Similar operations were also taking place in Alexandra as the tone of the looting and riots has taken a different turn, with members of the community actively participating against the looting.

“Today there’s nowhere to buy food in Soweto because of people like you,” said Lux, scolding a looter.

“Why, you must tell me who sent you… if you don’t tell me who sent you I will treat you like my worst enemy,” he said, before the looter said he had been sent by a man only referred to as “Thulani”.

Lux said looters were causing as a crisis for people as there would be no supply of food and the elderly, who were on chronic medication, would encounter problems as they needed to eat before taking their medication.

More communities are standing up to the looters, taking a stand, saying “enough is enough”.


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