I could say buckets on the latest outbreak of violance in South Africa and in particular the areas and towns in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, but you will see it much clearer on the world news casts. We awoke to absolute chaos as looting of shopping malls started at sunrise - an ashamedly assisted by the police. Then large plumes of smoke could be seen from my house as the rioters torched the two shopping malls situated near the freeway. We are staying at home as more violence is expected. It is no longer protests re the jailing of crook ex president Jacob Zuma - it is about wrecking the South African economy. The current president has been slow to protect anything and I am told the army has been called in but its too little too late I'm afraid. I can only hope that the interest in looting does not take hold anywhere near our business but my gardener who came on foot reports that a clothing store in the city has been looted. I'm worried yes. Afraid, a little.
Thanks for your concern. What we hearing on our local area crime prevention organisation is that they have rounded up dozens of community members and are surrounding our nearby supermarket and shops. This is very heroic but becomes a black on white fight as the majority living in this area are white families. I'm hoping the few Indian and African house owners will join in the stand as that puts a different spin on a volatile situation should it arise. We are simply going about our chores at home. My gardener is helping Mr.Tod prune the roses and fertilise them. It's a pleasant sunny day. That's also a problem as it makes rioting and looting easier. We need a thunder storm urgently.
After hearing the SANDF had been deployed in our city and a State of Emergency declared by our President, I reckoned it would only be a matter of time before there would be a curfew. There is one at the moment from9pm to 4am but I was thinking more like a complete curfew with no-one on the streets at any time. So we decided our gardener must reach home as soon as possible before this curfew may come into play. He runs the 15 km home everyday so would just be a normal run except for the fact you might be crossing the law today sometime. I think all will be back to normal tomorrow with soldiers around but I am expecting a lot of staff to be absent due to taxi connections or lack there-of. I must say I feel very much relieved that the army is in town. Even if it is a ragtag bunch at best. Their presence is all that matters. Tomorrow hundreds will wake up with no job as their place of employment no longer exists. Hundreds will wake up with a new sofa couch, washing machine and groceries worth thousands......shame on them.
Oh dear Tod! Thank you so much for checking in here and for your comments, as otherwise the news would have everyone frantic to know how you're faring. Is there a way for your gardener to let you know that he got home okay? Fervent hopes that this situation is contained very soon.
I have not seem this news before now Tod but glad you and your family are ok. I hope your gardener got home safely too. Lets hope and keep everything crossed that the violence calms down soon. Keep us up-dated if you can
Morning everyone. We awoke to thick smoke blocking out the sun and the awful stench of burning. We both had a restful night thanks to the Community Forum who rounded up anyone who could stand guard around our nearby supermarkets etc. and blocked off all access to this area. There is no evidence of the army up our way but despite their so called presence, the criminals managed to burn down more businesses in the outlying area nearest the road to the black townships of Edendale. Last night the President re-assured us he would restore calm and order but as I type this there are gunshots and explosions down in the city. I hope its the army taking a stand. There is nothing we can do except sit it out. I'm sure my gardener arrived home but I will try and contact him today as he has not showed up for work - which I expected and am very happy he is at home. Running 15km to my house and back every day is part of his training regime for the Comrades Marathon from which he has gained a Silver Medal and several bronze medals over the years. He is now 53. I will report back here from time to time and really appreciate everyone's good thoughts for us. Of course we are worried terribly that our shop will be attacked as that is our whole lives and at least 30 staff who rely on us to put bread on the table for their families.
Hi everyone. We are hoping for some reasoning with the looters and arsonists to happen today as the Taxi Association met this morning to see how they can get back to work. This may help - it may fizzle to just words. I got a good nights sleep but woke up with a sore stomach due to worry and nerves. At this moment I am waiting to hear from Mr.Tod who responded to a SMS asking more volunteers to help man the roadblocks as the teams need to rest. I agreed to him going but no night shift. I dont want to be here on my own and at his age he shouldn't be standing in the cold night air. If it would only rain!! That would slow the pace of looting.
Hoping there is some kind of dialogue & that reason prevails soon with the troublemakers.
I'm not sure that dialogue and reason can be hoped for in this situation. Partly it would depend on why people are looting -- just because they see everyone else doing it and the opportunity arose? Or the deeper underlying political/economic/social reasons that just cause things to blow up, in which case they are unlikely to be open to dialogue.
In any case, Tod, I hope things calm down and that both you and Mr Tod and your family and your employees stay safe.
Bjd - You are right of course about the cause of the looting and arson. South African history is as complicated as anyone's but it seemed to start when Jacob Zuma was exposed as one of the biggest crooks and pillager of the countries finances. Eventually he refused to appear and answer questions at a Commission of Enquiry called The Zondo Commission and was charged with contempt of court and arrested. His fellow crook accomplices fearing exposure have stirred up this attack on the country in the hopes he would be released. The President Ramaphosa is having none of it, so hundreds of criminals saw the opportunity to ransack and loot. The sad thing is they have encouraged the ordinary man in the street to come and help himself while the going is good. Of course there are other factors like the population is sick of the Covid restrictions and I don't think really grasp the severity of this curse amongst us. The political party of the ANC is in a shambles so no one really knows how this problem can be solved as soon as possible. There is a strong voice asking the President to declare a State of Emergency so that curfews and proper army controlled roadblocks can be put in place. At the moment it is the man in the street guarding his property. The police are outnumbered and we need more army personel on the ground. The whole thing is a complete ef -Up.
Yes Mick - so far the looters have been aiming for food and clothing shops but in a big way. We have kept a low profile and maybe its because we are set back behind a railing fence we have been ignored. They have also targeted furniture stores - we also have a little furniture but I'm thinking it is hard to see it while no stores lights are on. I'm just hoping this trend continues. BUT, I have such exciting news!! Look! A big Hercules aircraft has just flown over my house for the second time today. Brought troops from the Western Cape who I'm told take no crap. My tummy ache feels better already.
Our ABC news gave a fairly long and analytic report on TV tonight. It looked horrible, Tod, smoke and fire in the big shopping areas. I hope your place is safe. I find it interesting that the looting was people looking for food and daily needs...most places they slope off with TV sets and luxury items. I join with the whole mob here in hoping you and yours stay safe and your stress eases.
Travel! Set out and head for pastures new[br] Life tastes the richer when you’ve road worn feet.[br]Ibn Battuta[br]
Thanks Questa and Mick - The looters are grabbing anything and everything including TV's, sofa couches, washing machines, generators, beds and mattresses - you name it, they've got it. I hope like hell our place survives this Horror Movie. A huge mall is targeted for today and reports are that hundreds of people are gathering to lay siege. I can only hope this last bunch of soldiers can fight them off. I feel pretty calm now but everytime Mr.Tods phone buzzes with the latest report on what's going on in the nearby roads, I get stressed again. Thanks everyone for thinking of us - Zimbabwe started this way and look where it is today. And even further back in time - my parents got out of Kenya just as the Mau=Mau were marauding.