The recent looting, chaos and mayhem that resulted in Tshwane requires a response.

The many remarks made by the Minister of Small Business Lindiwe Zulu are empty unless action is included. Whenever occasion arises or does not, township mobs believe they have carte-blanche to loot business. Since these businesses provide services and jobs the stupidity of looting are illogical.

Often we hear leaders complain about the lack of jobs and opportunity in townships as no serious business wants to invest in the locations. Thus it is the small entrepreneur who invests his/her fortune in these locations with the hope of making a change.

Likewise, recently a union declared that they would call a boycott of sorts because of the rail network failure to operate ably. Ironically, it was the same union who stood idle while suspected followers burnt train carriages over a wage dispute. This kind of irrational double-speak must end as the South African taxpayer cannot continue to be held liable for the cost of organised agenda driven chaos.

What is required is an immediate state of emergency where chaos erupts. The police be given full authority to shoot on sight any looters or persons that use the conditions to create chaos and crime.

In South Africa we have a constitution and a voting system where every voter has chance to express opinion in a nonviolent manner by simply voting their least favoured political party out of authority.

If the people of Tshwane are that upset about the election of a mayoral candidate they can simply vote for an alternative political party. Looters and those who seek chaos must be denied any chance.

Poverty is no excuse to behave in an animalistic manner. For example, the past weekend the Cape Muslim Congress and other donors went into the very heart of Lavender Hill, one of the most violent and poorest communities on the Cape Flats to distribute a few hundred food parcels and warm food.

At the Lavender Hill Mosque on our arrival the large crowd on request formed an ordered waiting line. Although in the distance one could visibly see and smell plumes of dagga reeking through the air, the elderly, young male and female courteously took the food that was offered and went home.

Rarely in Cape Town even amid the poorest of the poor do we observe such chaos, which seems to be the norm amidst township dwellers in the north? There are shops in Lavender Hill, Manenberg and Bonteheuwel that have been there for years as the people value the service though crime does exist.

The point is those who loot must be dealt with harshly and quickly before the chaos spreads south and becomes the norm. Looters must be given no mercy as this behaviour is infectious. Those looting do seem to be enjoying themselves as their laughter is obvious and visible on the news reports.

In the words of the wise, everything can be taken from a person but one thing: the last freedom, to choose one’s attitude, to choose one’s own way that will always remain.

 

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress