Rampant looting brought back memories of apartheid violence, says township mall owner

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Community members volunteer in a clean up operation in Soweto after days of violent riots affected malls, shops and businesses in the area.
Community members volunteer in a clean up operation in Soweto after days of violent riots affected malls, shops and businesses in the area.
Kayleen Morgan

When Soweto residents rose up to defend Maponya Mall from mob invasion, their action marked a turning point from the scenes of wanton looting and destruction that had swept across the township in previous days.

The iconic mall, which opened in 2007, was the brainchild of the late businessman Richard Maponya, whose business acumen changed the face of the township’s economy - even during the days of apartheid.

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