Home News Residents stand up to protect city against looting and vandalism

Residents stand up to protect city against looting and vandalism

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Concern that children are being used to loot local businesses.

A group of youngsters attempted to loot a spaza shop but were left empty handed as the owners had already removed the stock from the premises on Monday night. Picture: Danie van der Lith

A FEW areas in Kimberley were affected by looting and acts of vandalism on Tuesday.

Areas that have experienced the looting of tuck shops since Monday night are John Daka, Kagisho, Tlhageng, Soul City and Phutanang.

All foreign-owned tuck shops have meanwhile remained closed since Monday afternoon, with most owners clearing out their stock as a precaution.

There were unsuccessful attempts to vandalise the Galeshewe Plaza on Monday night.

Picture: Danie van der Lith

A heavy police presence was visible at the Galeshewe circle, while community volunteers were guarding the Galeshewe Plaza.

Many Kimberlites took a stand and vowed to protect the city after a post, hashtagged ‘ReleaseMsholoziNow, HandsOffMsholozi, WenzeniuZuma and 100%BehindZuma’, circulated on social media calling for a community meeting at the Galeshewe circle on Monday night.

Residents slammed the post as “opportunistic” and believed that its aim was to create havoc throughout the city on Monday night.

Several attempts by a small group of youngsters to cause chaos at the Galeshewe circle, after the organisers of the community meeting failed to reveal themselves, were stopped.

Picture: Danie van der Lith

Groups of people also attempted to barricade roads, but they were stopped by patrolling police and community members.

Volunteers also stood guard around the clock at local businesses to stop looters, who were mostly youngsters, from forcing entry.

The volunteers walked around with sjamboks throughout the night to scare off any potential looters.

WhatsApp groups were also set up for different suburbs and information shared on social media to assist in the prevention of looting.

Picture: Danie van der Lith

Parents were also urged to know the whereabouts of their children and to keep them at home.

The police had their hands full on Tuesday with numerous calls received to protect tuck shops, liquor outlets and supermarkets from being looted. They stood guard as the owners cleared their stock.

The frustrated looters ended up targeting the infrastructure after the businesses cleared the stock from their premises.

A landlord in Kagisho shacks was meanwhile left shocked after witnessing children as young as 10 years old loot a tuck shop in her yard.

“They are moving around with tools that they get from their masterminds to gain entry into the businesses,” said the landlord. “They looted everything until the last five cent and left the owner with only the clothes that he was wearing.

“It was mother, father and child storming into the shack to fetch what they wanted.

“Even after the police left they continued to come and take what was left.”

Several people were arrested in Kimberley in connection with looting and instigation, but the police did not reveal any figures following media enquiries. The SAPS national office promised to issue a statement, which had not been received at the time of publication.