by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – IN an uplifting development in the wake of the deadly unrest in some parts of South Africa, some communities are taking it upon themselves to protect vital infrastructure from invasion or further destruction by looters.
This is to complement the intervention by law enforcement agents who are evidently outnumbered by the criminals that are targeting mainly malls and warehouses in the economic hub of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, which are the epicentres of the criminality.
The historic township of Soweto, west of Gauteng, has taken a lead in securing local properties, starting with the iconic Maponya Mall in the section of Pimville.
The mall, which reportedly is the only such facility to be breached by criminals during the looting spree in the populous township in recent days, is the legacy of the late prominent businessman and anti-apartheid figure, Richard Maponya.
“It’s time the black nation wakes up and unites to defend the communities, the businesses, the women and the children. There is no one who will come and save us. We are all we have,” Nhlanhla Lux, one of the mobilisers of the Pimville residents, said.
A vigilante braved the chilly winter night on Tuesday thwarting would-be looters.
Taxi drivers around Gauteng have also mobilized to protect malls and filling stations within the areas they operate.
The drivers have protected properties in such areas as Garankuwa, Mamelodi, Shoshanguve and Vosloorus in Gauteng.
The South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) on Tuesday confirmed it had taken over the protection of three malls in Soshanguve.
“The momentum is gaining ground,” the organisation stated.
Taxi operators thwarted looting in the Kwaggafontein area of Mpumalanga province.
Boy Zondi, the SANTACO chairperson for KwaZulu-Natal, pledged the industry would also help with cleaning efforts as part of bringing the province to normality.
More than 3, 000 people have been arrested since the onset of the looting. Over 100 have been killed, mostly during stampedes.
– CAJ News