Home South African Looters strip Durban shopping centre as other KZN businesses shut their doors

Looters strip Durban shopping centre as other KZN businesses shut their doors

589

Most businesses in KwaZulu-Natal had to close their doors on Monday as violent protests and looting continued unabated in the province.

A SAPS member on that scene at the Springfield Value Centre, where shops were looted. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng / African News Agency (ANA)

DURBAN – Most businesses in KwaZulu-Natal had to close their doors as violent protests and looting continued unabated in the province.

On Monday, hundreds of people looted stores at the popular Springfield Value Centre.

Banded sneakers were among the items found lying in the parking lot.

According to African News Agency photographer Motshwari Mofokeng, all the stores were looted.

Couches were also removed from furniture stores and can be seen lying in the parking lot.

Police try to calm the situation at Springfield Value Centre after protesters closed roads and looted shops around KZN during a spree of violent protests. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng / African News Agency (ANA)

The police are on the scene, while Springfield Value Centre management has been approached for comment.

KwaZulu-Natal’s biggest shopping centre, The Gateway Theatre of Shopping, has confirmed that it will not be trading today.

Marketing manager Michelle Shelley said that they would also like to make the public aware that videos are not of Gateway.

“There are a number of fake videos circulating on WhatsApp and social media, which are not of Gateway. Please note that, due to the protest action in KZN today, Gateway will not be trading. We apologise for any inconvenience,” said Shelley.

Chief strategy officer at Pick n Pay David North said, in common with other retailers, some of their stores have been affected by the disruption and damage in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

“The safety of our customers and staff is always our first priority, and, as a precaution, we have temporarily closed a number of stores in affected areas.

Looting at the Springfield Value Centre. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng / African News Agency (ANA)

North said it was too early to give an assessment of the trading and financial impact, but their stores continue to be open and trading in areas not affected by the disruption.

UMlazi Mega City centre management said they had closed a result of looting and vandalism, which resulted in extensive damage to the mall.

National marketing manager Donald McLellan said they were presently assessing the extent of the damage caused during the vandalism, which took place on Sunday evening.

“Criminal offences of this nature have been witnessed over the last 24 hours throughout KwaZulu-Natal and will have a severe impact on our economy. We implore anyone, with any information that may lead to the arrest of the perpetrators, to liaise with SAPS directly.

“Our on-site team is working tirelessly to restore the centre and we ask for patience during this extremely difficult period. The safety of our customers, staff and tenants remains our priority, and we will ensure that we will keep you updated as to when uMlazi Mega City will be trading again,” said McLellan.

Pareto Limited, which owns several shopping centres across the country, confirmed the Pavilion and Southgate Shopping Centres remained closed today for security reasons.

In a statement Iggy Sathekge said this was a result of the “community unrest” currently taking place in KZN and Gauteng.

“While other shopping centres elsewhere in the country are open as normal, they are placed on high security alert and may be closed at short notice should the circumstances warrant so.

“We are working with SAPS and other security agencies in different locations to ensure that the safety of our property, customers and tenants, as well as smooth business operations continue. We will continue to observe the developments and further announcements will be made as new information become available.”

In a statement, The Shoprite Group strongly condemned the unrest and mayhem in parts of the country where looting and lawlessness broke out amidst protest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

“It is especially damaging after the dire impact of the Covid-19-pandemic on the economy with unemployment at record highs and South African consumers under tremendous pressure and livelihoods under constant threat.

“We denounce the criminal acts of violence, looting and damage to property. It puts the lives and safety of millions of South Africans at risk and brings further food security challenges in South Africa”, the supermarket chain said.

In the current state several of the group’s stores in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng are unable to trade due to the mayhem and extensive damage caused over the past 24 hours, impacting the livelihoods of millions of law-abiding citizens.

Previous articleMphahlele could have last laugh as ‘bad move’ comes good
Next articleLooting spreads across Gauteng