Peter Hammond, Frontline Mission SA, July 2021
Private Citizens Protected Property and the Police
Along with the staggering reports and images of catastrophic criminality and communist-inspired chaos, which cost over R50 Billion in damages and stolen items and over 370 lives lost, have come inspiring stories of heroic individuals who rescued neighbours, protected shops and industries in their communities and even protected police from rampaging mobs.
“You Are on Your Own!”
For example, when a riotous mob of looters descended on the Spar Supermarket in Mayville, near Durban, Captain Sithole reported to his superiors that he only had four police officers to protect the supermarket, fuel station and the police station next door. He was informed that no backup or reinforcements were available and he was on his own!
“We were under attack. They wanted to loot the Spar and they were acting in accordance with those notices that were inciting them to first loot and then burn the place down. They were doing just that. They were going to the business premises and burning them afterwards. So, just imagine after looting the Spar, the second thing was the police station was going to be on fire.” But the captain refused to flee from his duty.
Community Comes to the Rescue
Abandoned by his superiors, the police captain turned to the Community Police Forum Chairman, Imtiaz Syed. The Community Police Forum (CPF) swung into action and quickly mobilized more than 60 armed civilians, which included some private security personnel, who were able to drive off the marauding mob, protecting the Supermarket and the petrol station opposite it, which were targeted for looting and burning. Captain Sithole said that he was moved by the community spirit he saw that day as their community came forward, leaving their homes, their comfort and safety and spending the whole night on the roads, barricading, doing access control and also providing ammunition to the police, who were out of supplies and vulnerable to the lawless mobs.
Stability Established by Vigilant Citizens
The captain reported: “If it was not because of the CPF, the garage would not be here. Some places are completely looted. If you go south of Durban in some areas, there are no shops. Clairwood is finished. Montclair is finished. But because of your togetherness and because of your commitment, we have the shops here and the place is safe.”
SAPS “Spectators” to Looting
Whereas in many places, reports and videos showed police standing by as “spectators”, while mobs of thousands looted warehouses, ransacked shopping centres and burned down enter shopping complexes, warehouses and factories. Apparently, many police were ordered not to intervene!
Good Neighbours Prevent Pillaging and Plunder
On several occasions, private businesses stepped in to donate ammunition to the police and private security companies who were overwhelmed during the riots. Private citizens and responsible neighbours at Maponya Mall in Soweto protected life and property from being ransacked and guttered by fire, as Jabulani Mall had been.
Vulnerable Transport Trucks Protected by Farmers
As 18-wheeler transport trucks were targeted for looting and firebombing on the N3 highway, Charles Van der Merwe provided sanctuary for transporters en route to Richards Bay. Other residents near Pongola came and stood together to provide for 600 stranded trucks during this crisis.
Good Samaritans Deliver Desperately Needed Supplies
Other communities organized emergency supplies to communities in KZN without food and medicines. For example, community members from Azaadville, near Johannesburg, drove 32,000 loaves of bread to a vulnerable community in Durban, at their own cost and providing their own security. Another community organized a charter flight to bring in essential supplies to KZN communities besieged by riotous mobs.
Sports Club Supplies Police with Ammunition
A sport shooting group reloaded ammunition for the local SAPS, who were out of ammunition and in danger of being overwhelmed by plundering hordes.
Citizens Confronting Chaos
Quoting from one of our contacts: “Here we are after a tumultuous week, during which an orchestrated attack on law and order was launched and largely thwarted due, primarily, to thousands of armed South African citizens who stood in the way of anarchy and defended themselves, their families and their communities. Taxi drivers and farmers stood shoulder to shoulder in Nigel to prevent rampaging hordes of looters from pillaging their town. Armed citizens guarded Mapomya mall in Soweto to prevent it being looted, ransacked and gutted by fire like Jabulani Mall. Countless communities in KZN were guarded day and night by armed civilians after the initial horrible spree of murder and firestorm were initiated.”
In the Absence of Law Enforcement
“The SAPS were almost nowhere to be seen and neither was the SANDF. Where the SAPS were able to prevent the own police stations from being overrun and reduced to ruin, they soon expended their available ammunition and had to rely on the civilians to resupply them and shelter them from the mobs.”
When Lawlessness Reigns
“Good armed people stood up to evil and triumphed. Any possible justification for the Firearm Amendment Bill has now been discredited in front of all. As if to punctuate the irony, the SAPS failed to protect two container loads of imported ammunition (over 1.9 million rounds) in their own secure area in Durban and this was promptly looted by the plundering hordes. Lawful firearm owners saved lives and property this week.”
Private Citizens Restored Law and Order
While the explosion of devastating riots and rampant looting of over 200 shopping centres and malicious destruction of warehouses, factories, shops and schools exposed the failure of government, there are many more inspiring, untold stories of heroic individuals and communities who banded together to protect lives and property and restored law and order to communities that were threatened with devastating lawlessness. “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.” Nehemiah 4:14
The Total Failure of Government
The government clearly failed. It failed to adequately anticipate, or warn of, the clearly planned and orchestrated plundering and arson sprees.
South Africans Have a Track Record of Resilience and Resourcefulness
South Africans have learned to be resilient and resourceful under adverse circumstances. During decades of international sanctions in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, South Africa became an industrial powerhouse. Under International arms sanctions, South African Armscor produced such world class weaponry that even the superpowers were seeking to purchase our state-of-the-art weaponry. South African forces fought the last battles of the Cold War, decisively defeating the best Soviet weaponry and Cuban mechanized divisions and air force in Angola. Despite international sports boycotts, when South Africa had the opportunity to re-enter the international arena, our teams proved to be world class and, for example, in 1995, won the Rugby World Cup.
South Africans Make a Plan and Overcome Obstacles
More recently, South Africans have had to survive under a bewildering array of (over 114) BBBEE affirmative action race quota regulations, regular scheduled electricity power failures, interruption of plumbing services, water shortages and erratic (and often irrational) lockdown lunacy regulations stifling businesses and strangling economies. Of course, violent crime, regular riots and corrupt and inefficient government services are other daily realities which have to be contended with. “We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Farmers Under Fire
South Africa’s beleaguered farmers must be some of the most resilient and courageous in the world. Vilified by Marxist propaganda and targeted by brutal terrorism, any commercial farmer in South Africa has to be both courageous and resourceful just to survive and stay in business. Being a white commercial farmer in South Africa is the most dangerous occupation in the world – far more dangerous than being a bomb disposal expert in Afghanistan, for example. “Watch, stand fast in the Faith. Be brave. Be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13
Armed Civilians Saved Lives
So, when the latest and most devastating explosion of plundering of entire shopping malls and arson across KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng, it should come as no surprise that many resilient South Africans rose to the challenge, saving lives and property from the Marxist mobs.
Are You Prepared?
How prepared are you if violence comes to your neighbourhood? How well do you know your neighbours? Do you belong to a Neighbourhood Watch or Community Forum? Does your congregation have a security committee? Do you have a regular sport or exercise routine to keep you fit, alert and healthy? Do you have a martial sport like fencing, sword fighting, archery, karate, kick boxing or target shooting? To help you and your family be prepared, obtain and study the Security and Survival Handbook. “A prudent man sees danger and takes precautions, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” Proverbs 22:3