The word South Africa could be made out from words murmured by a
clearly traumatised Somali tuck-shop owner in his own language.
He wept uncontrollably as he rolled on a dusty street in
Ga-Rankuwa. The community watched; a few onlookers laughed.
His misery was directed at a red shipping container from which he
ran a spaza shop until looters pounced on him today.
The shop was empty except for broken shelves and items that fell
while it was being ransacked moments earlier.
“They took everything – my money, my stock, everything. I have
nothing with me,” he said repeatedly.
The unrest in Tshwane has evolved from a politically motivated
protest into this – a looting spree.
The protests were sparked after the ANC’s announcement of its
decision to deploy former minister Thoko Didiza as its mayoral candidate for
The ANC decided on Didiza in a bid to avoid conflicts from the two
factions supporting the incumbent mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, who is also the
ANC Tshwane regional chairperson, and his deputy Mapiti Matsena.
Protesting communities were calling for the ANC to allow them to
decide on their own mayoral candidate.
In reaction to this, more than 20 buses and several trucks were
torched in areas of Tshwane, including Mamelodi, Atteridgeville and
Morula shopping complex in Mabopane was looted overnight and
smaller shops were ransacked throughout the day today. The same happened in
The shell of a torched bus was seen in front of Morula Sun Casino
in Mabopane where it was set alight overnight.
Police were deployed to Tshwane from across Gauteng. However, they
were thin on the ground. Officers would run from one looting incident to the
next only to find that looters had already cleaned out the shops.
Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Noxolo Kweza said more than 40
people had been arrested throughout the protest-torn areas since yesterday .
They were expected to appear in court soon for charges ranging from
public violence, theft and malicious damage to property.
An ANC branch chairperson in Atteridgeville told City Press a
meeting that was to be held with branch leadership in a bid to quell fires in
the region was postponed.
The ANC Gauteng chairperson, Paul Mashatile, said yesterday
meetings with branch leaders were to start today as the party worked towards
hearing their grievances on its mayoral candidate decision and resolving them.
It was not clear whether the meeting would be held tomorrow.