Jul 26, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

LIVE UPDATES | Rebuilding SA: Funeral parlours are running out of coffins as Covid and looting take their toll

July 19 2021 – 07:56

Pietermaritzburg was a dump long before the riots

The effects of the past week’s unrest and destruction of property will have dire consequences for the KwaZulu-Natal capital, where residents have watched for years how their city has been ruined.

July 19 2021 – 07:28

More than 50 KZN schools ‘torched, looted and damaged’ in unrest

More than 50 schools have been damaged, torched and looted during the unrest that has gripped KwaZulu-Natal.

Provincial education departmental spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi confirmed that more than 50 schools, two circuit offices and two education centres were hit as violence spread throughout the province.

“Some were looted, torched and damaged. We have not been able to quantify the extent of the damage and the number of schools at this point in time. Unlike during the lockdown, when our officials were able to go around to establish all the facts, their mobility is limited this time around,” he told TimesLIVE.

July 19 2021 – 06:46

WENDY KNOWLER | Shopkeepers join in on the looting with price gouging

It’s taken me 23 years of consumer journalism to look up the definition of “consumer”, a word I have typed a gazillion times and, for the past decade, mostly with the words “Protection Act” behind it.

Google gave me: “A person who purchases goods and services for personal use,” followed by some context: “Understanding what motivates consumers is more crucial than ever.”

Of course, that definition doesn’t apply to those who took part in the orgy of acquisition we witnessed in parts of our country last week.

Those consumers were not in need of protection of any kind as they picked and didn’t pay; kept their cash (if they had any) and carried.

July 19 2021 – 06:33

‘I never want to feel that way again’: the day the most stoic people cried

I had seen my husband cry only twice until Tuesday night.

The first was when his mother died in 2009 and the second when we learned that our IVF, to conceive a child after many years of trying, was successful.

On Tuesday night, he watched via his cellphone a group of looters break into his office.

On his tablet, a car tracking app showed that vehicles were being tampered with.

In less than two hours, 10 company vehicles were stolen.

July 19 2021 – 06:20

JUSTICE MALALA | Never forget the people in plush houses who tried to plunge SA into war

We must not underplay what the instigators of last week’s devastating events in SA wanted to achieve. What we saw was a malevolent plan to take us to war and turn our beautiful, peaceful, imperfect and democratic country into a broken nation and failed state.

It was a deliberate and calculated campaign to turn poor against rich, black against white and Indian, Zulu against Xhosa, haves against have-nots — and for the instigators to watch as we shot each other, invaded each other’s homes, barricaded ourselves against each other, railed against each other and ultimately killed each other.

These are not nice people. They torched more than 30 trucks so there would be food shortages in KwaZulu-Natal. They wanted starvation. They wanted bedlam and bloodletting. They wanted lawlessness. They wanted to give us a place where the armed man is in charge, while the woman and the child get violated and are at the mercy of the militia. These are terrible people. Last week they were at the door.

July 19 2021 – 06:16

Funeral parlours are running out of coffins as Covid and looting take their toll

Looters made off with at least 50 coffins, worth an estimated R300,000, when they hit Vuyo Mabindisa’s funeral parlour in Soweto last week.

“About 60% of the coffins were recovered but they were damaged so we can’t use them. I feel sad that because those places were looted, many people are now going to lose their jobs.”

He said the survival of his business was under threat, as it was increasingly challenging to get more coffins.

“Due to the riots, we are now struggling to get coffins because the manufacturers cannot get the raw materials to make them. We now have to postpone funerals,” he said.

July 19 2021 – 06:12

Dividing lines: Phoenix at epicentre of looting, racial tension and violence in KZN

Residents in Phoenix, north of Durban, took up arms to protect their families and community after violence and looting gripped areas in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Suspected looters were allegedly shot by residents manning barricades at almost every intersection in Phoenix.

Illuminated by fires that litter streets in the area, one community member, who did not want to be named, brandished a revolver while saying, “If you are looting, we are shooting”.

July 19 2021 – 06:00

EDITORIAL | Riots are a wake-up call that inequality must be addressed

From the ruins of last week’s looting and violent conflicts emerged an outpouring of unity, as many South Africans marked Nelson Mandela Day on Sunday by giving much of their time in pursuit of the broader good in ways not seen before.

Many in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng put on their cleaning regalia and spent more than their allocated 67 minutes, removing debris and charred remains of torched buildings in a bid to return our country to normal.