KZN Taxi Drivers Fire Warning Shots to Stop Looters, Operation Dudula Protects Malls Amid Looting Threats

KZN Taxi Drivers Fire Warning Shots to Stop Looters, Operation Dudula Protects Malls Amid Looting Threats

  • KwaZulu-Natal taxi operators and owners were able to stop attempted looting at a Hammersdale mall in Durban on Thursday night
  • Approximately 100 people were gathered near the mall, however, the taxi operators stood guard and fired warning shots
  • In Johannesburg, Operation Dudula members have been dispersed all over Soweto to stand guard in case there is looting

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DURBAN - On Thursday night, a group of individuals attempted to loot a mall in Hammersdale, Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, however, their efforts were thwarted.

Taxi drivers and owners protected the mall by firing shots into the air to disperse the crowd that was determined to loot Junction Mall.

KZN taxi operators, disperse looters, fire warning shots, Operation Dudula, Maponya Mall, national shutdown
KZN taxi operators were able to disperse a crowd of people who tried to loot in Durban. Images: Alet Pretorius & Emmanuel Corset
Source: Getty Images

According to The Witness, a crowd of approximately 100 people burnt tyres near the mall at around 9pm. The crowd was unable to get near the mall because it was heavily protected by taxi operators, the police and private security officers.

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Smangele Shoba, a resident in Hammarsdale told the publication that the crowd kept getting larger and there were even people, however, the taxi operators continued firing shots in an attempt to scare people away.

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The taxi operators were also asked to be on guard and protect another shopping centre that was targeted during the July unrest last year. Shoba says they protected the mall until dawn.

Nkosinathi Majola, Ward 6 councillor stated that the group was told that looting was wrong because it will affect the economy. He also added that the mall employs over 200 people and their jobs could be on the line if looting occurs.

“We spoke to them and told them this thing of looting businesses is not right, because they hurt the economy. The mall employs over 2000 people in the area so we need to protect it,” he said.

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Operation Dudula stands guard amid national shutdown threats

In Johannesburg, the leader of Operation Dudula Nhlanhla Lux Dlamini warned that members of the organisation are ready to protect areas that may be targeted by looters.

Taking to social media, Dlamini stated that the organisation has deployed people all over Soweto to protect commuters and shopping centres that may be hit on Friday, 10 June. He also added that they are being supported by the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) and the South African Police Service.

Dlamini also spoke to reporters on Friday morning while stationed in front of Maponya Mall in Soweto. Speaking to eNCA, Dlamini reiterated that they do not support the national shutdown and are prepared to stand firm and protect shopping centres.

Dlamini stated that they have chosen to be on high alert because there are signs that what happened during the July unrest could happen again.

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"If you remember last year during the July unrest, nobody said, 'Hi guys, my name is July unrest and I'm coming on this day.' There are just signs and these signs that we are seeing now and that is why we need to take these signs seriously," said Dlamini.

South Africans weigh in on the attempted looting

While some people were happy that malls were protected by taxi operators, some people were wondering if anyone was injured when warning shots were fired.

Here are some comments:

@okaMashaba said:

"Taxi owners are now acting as the police? Who gave them so much power? Are those guns legal to start with? There is really nothing to applaud here."

@Kgolane_Nape said:

"Next time taxi drivers call out a shutdown, people will just stay in their homes and watch the news. There will never be unity in this country!"

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Source: Briefly News

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