Site B residents speak out against looting

Site B residents picketed near Khayelitsha police station against crime and, in particular, the looting of malls and shopping centres.

As looting and violence devastated parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, Site B residents protested against looting and criminality.

On Thursday July 16, about 100 demonstrators gathered near Khayelitsha police station.

The group, waving placards, called for support to fight the “would-be looters” in the province’s townships. They also called on the government to jail those who sent messages via social media inciting violence.

The residents, angered by what they have seen happening in KZN and Gauteng, said looting had the potential to collapse the country’s economy and cause food and medicine shortages and price hikes.

Sanele Kompela said the townships were already in the midst of an economic crisis and have been hit hard by Covid-19.

“Looting in key centres should be condemned. It is where we buy our needs. Currently we hear that there is no food, no medicine, in KZN.

“We have grannies with chronic diseases so we cannot afford to see people looting our shopping malls and centres hiding behind Zuma’s jailing.

“As Site B residents we want to warn (would-be looters) not to try. We want to nip their thoughts in the bud. We say no to looting,” he said.

Mr Kompela also called on government to use the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (RICA) to find those who incite violence via WhatsApp voice messages.

“Rica should help our intelligence to get these criminals. We have people who are hellbent on disrupting the peace in the townships by sending these misleading and lying messages. We would love to see them jailed for incitement,” he said.

Picketers shouted “Asiyingeni lonto” “Looting stinks” “Asizi” “Looting kills jobs” and “Respect the law” – which were also written on their placards.

While the crowds of picketers were singing and dancing, others joined in support for a few minutes before leaving.

Another resident, Zandile Mahlati, said she joined the picket because she could not sit back while the township economy was threatened by criminals.

She said what had happened in other parts of the country had taught them to wise up and fight for the good of the township people.

“We are not afraid to stand for the truth. We are here against lawlessness. We cannot destroy the little that we have in the name of somebody who is facing his sins. All we want is to have the law playing its part and as residents we should stop vandals. These malls are ours,” she said.

The residents were adamant that looting would not happen in Site B – and to date there have not been any reports of looting in the Nonkqubela Mall.

Sanele Kompela addresses residents. Mr Kompela has urged people to protect their centres and infrastructure.
The writing is on the wall.
Khayelitsha residents said they would not be party of criminality.