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SA looting: Fight for the right to safety and security

File image. Max Kleinen on Unsplash

By The Editor

The events of this week provided a watershed moment.

No longer is there any blurring, it is very clear that the battle lines have been drawn. There are those who believe in law, order and the vision of a prosperous SA, and there are those who desire anarchy, chaos and the chance to play on the desperate, the foolish and the hungry. Organised puppet masters, communicating through technology, are driving “protests” that are destroying our key infrastructure, livelihoods, institutions built up over many years and futures of many of our people, some of whom are clearly unable or unwilling to think past next week or the week thereafter.

Dreams

If this was only about poor people seeking the opportunity to fight back and pilfer much-needed food and household items, then why also destroy the properties, warehousing, vehicles and infrastructure?

Thugs have set fire to key infrastructure and multimillion rand facilities in SA. Dozens of people have lost their lives.

People’s dreams and hopes for a good life in SA are literally going up in flames. It will take many years to repair the reputational damage and savage blows dealt to the economy in the past few days. It will result in a great loss for SA.

These manipulators are hidden for now as the police, army and intelligence services drag their heels in responding and refuse to fight fire with fire.

Violence, looting leave a bitter taste

Among the many questions emerging out of the smoke, rubble, chaos and heartbreaking scenes, in which dozens are now confirmed to have lost their lives, is do ordinary citizens have the right to take up arms to defend what is theirs (property) and their loved ones?

Betrayed

To me it’s a really simple question, with an equally simple answer: Of course they do. Where the police, army and security arms of the state are unable or unwilling to assist, private citizens have no other choice but to stand up, collaborate and try to save the situation. Communities feel betrayed, isolated and unable to understand the government’s unwillingness to assist.

The time for platitudes and sweet talk is over. This is a desperate situation for many.

Hundreds have been arrested, but dozens of sites have been attacked and looted with little or no police response.

And yet, even 16 hours after the president promising citizens that looters and violent criminals would face the full might of the law, various ministers in the safety and security cluster, including minister of police Bheki Cele, continue to warble on about treading with caution.

The people have had enough of being held ransom by criminal elements, some of whom hide behind a fairy tale story of seeking the freedom of Jacob Zuma.

Now read: Concerned about accountability at municipalities?

No, these individuals want to drag down and destroy our state, destroy a way of life and turn South Africa into the poster child for hunger, unemployment and chaos. If the masses think times are tough now… beware politicians bringing promises.

South Africans, seemingly ignored by the police and the army, have the right to defend themselves. And more and more of them are beginning to do so.

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Violence, looting leaves a bitter taste