WATCH: Looters raid city shop

2018-02-23 11:35
A large group of looters ransacked a shop on Masukwana street (East) on Wednesday

A large group of looters ransacked a shop on Masukwana street (East) on Wednesday (CCTV )

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WATCH: Pietermaritzburg shop looted during taxi strike

2018-01-26 16:24

CCTV cameras captured the moment Just Take Away in Thomas Street, Pietermaritzburg, was looted during a strike by minibus taxi drivers on Thursday. Watch. WATCH

More than 20 violent looters stormed into a city grocery shop and made off with more than R30 000 of goods and cash this week.

Video footage of the shocking incident has been widely shared on social media.

Now the owners of the supermarket on Masukwana (East) Street — Abdul Jada (29) and his 20-year-old brother, Aboubaker — have recruited armed guards to protect them and the shop.

Abdul said on Thursday that Aboubaker was cut on the hand by a knife during the incident on Wednesday.

The robbers ran off with about R30 000 worth of stock and R3 000 in cash.

This attack comes a week after Jada and 130 downtown central business district business owners and residents petitioned the Msunduzi Municipality to clear vagrants and tackle crime in the area.

The video footage of the incident shows dozens of people storming the shop, stealing stock and toppling over tables and display racks.

Jada told The Witness on Thursday that the incident happened at about 11 am on Wednesday.

“There is a tavern nearby where we saw all these guys come out of. They were walking towards the [Masukwana Street] hostel, but then they turned around and came walking toward the shop.

“One guy came in and was standing, then all of a sudden about 20 or 30 of them came running. We are so glad nobody was badly hurt, only my brother got poked, but luckily only on his hand ... it could have been much worse.”

He added: “They came in and took all the stuff. We closed up the shop after that and called the police.”

If you have a problem watching the video, please click here.

Jada said he had placed an order for new stock and the shop was open again on Thursday.

“What else can we do? We have to continue running [the shop] because no one is going to help us [financially],” he said.

He added that the incident was by far the worst he had seen in the eight years he has owned businesses on the street: “It happened in front of everyone in broad daylight and they just took everything.

“There’s lots of crime in the lower CBD area but we don’t see things like this. I shouldn’t have to hire private guards, but what can I do?”

Kantha Naidoo, chairperson of the Msunduzi Economic Development Agency (Meda), feared that the incident might lead to business owners taking matters into their own hands.

“They shouldn’t have to trade in a state of fear, and they shouldn’t have to pay for armed guards on top of paying for rates.

“It’s not fair,” she added.

Police confirmed the incident, and said no arrests had been made.

Read more on:    crime  |  pietermaritzburg  |  looting

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