Civilians across the beleaguered provinces of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal have begun taking the law into their own hands to protect malls from mobs of looters, as South Africans hoped the chaos had begun to subside after four days.
Violence and looting broke out near Johannesburg (in Gauteng), Durban (in KwaZulu-Natal), and other cities, on Sunday, following the surrender last Thursday of former President Jacob Zuma on corruption-related contempt charges.
Zuma, the country’s first Zulu president, faces a 15-month sentence for refusing to testify before an inquiry into corruption.
Dozens have been killed, and billions of dollars in damage caused, by rioting mobs. In Durban, as Breitbart News noted Tuesday, supplies of bread and milk ran out due to the looting, sparking fears that the metro area would run out of food.
The military has deployed 25,000 troops to assist the beleaguered police. Video emerged Wednesday on social media of civilians trying to protect the country’s malls themselves.
— KAE News (@news_kae) July 14, 2021
In one area, armed taxi drivers worked together to keep looters out of malls that they services on their taxi routes, according to local news website Independent Online (IOL):
Taxi drivers guarding Vosloorus Mall in Ekurhuleni opened fire on looters on Wednesday morning, a news website reported.
A taxi association member said it was anarchy. “These thugs will not destroy our mall. Five hundred of our members have deployed throughout Katlehong and Vosloorus to defend the malls.”
Others volunteered to help in cleanup efforts, according to IOL. Some surveyed the damage in shock:
One would swear we're on one of the movie sets of Avengers Endgame. Sad. Sad. #JHBCBD #ThulaniDlomo #ANCNECLeaks #MaponyaMall #ZumaCoupAttempt #KZNViolence #SouthAfricaIsBurning #Pimville #durbanisburning pic.twitter.com/AjgAiiXAcn
— responsible afrikan (@mbotsellasie) July 14, 2021
The country is also facing possible fuel shortages, following the shutdown of the country’s largest refinery.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book is How Not to Be a Sh!thole Country: Lessons from South Africa. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.