Wentworth, Merebank, and Bluff residents have taken to the street to protect their community from rioting and unrest. They are forming community watch and security groups, to fight a surge of crime in the wake of the rampant looting and riots that are currently occurring in Johannesburg and KwaZulu-Natal.To protect the neighborhood they have put up barricades to keep outsiders away.
As break-ins and fires raged in the first days of mass protests, which protesters say is caused by the incarceration of former President Jacob Zuma, the country seemed to descend into a security vacuum. Police presence seems to be minimal in all neighborhoods.
Any time large groups of angry people gather spontaneously, property damage is common. Many lives were lost, and no amount of stolen merchandise will ever equal the loss of even a single human life. Still, the looting that takes place in these situations is usually interpreted as evidence of human depravity. This has resulted in unwarranted widespread property damage and death.
By late Monday night, main retail malls in both Johannesburg and KwaZulu-Natal lay in shambles. Windows in nearly every storefront were left shattered and clothes ripped from their racks littered the streets. Garbage fires burned, casting shadows on mannequin limbs, shattered glass, and other detritus. Looters could be seen trying to get away with electrical appliances, including cases of liquor, and meat carcasses.
Police Officers feel they have fewer rights than the criminals they apprehend. Lack of rewards for good job performance, insufficient training, and excessive paperwork can also contribute to police stress. It seems that the criminal justice system creates additional stress for South African police.
On Tuesday President Rampahosa deployed the SANDF in certain hotspots in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. The SANDF`s deployment objective is to provide safety and a safe working environment for members of the SAPS and other law enforcement agencies whilst they carry out their Constitutionally mandated law and order duties.”
There are always some leaders and activists who are intent on violence. This is because protests and social movements always involve heterogeneous communities with multiple expressions, political factions, and leaders. Messages have been circulating on social media by faceless forces, claiming to possess weapons of mass destruction.
Some of these expressions and political factions believe in violent direct action and behave accordingly in the protests. Added to this is the opportunism of criminals who use the protests as a cover to conduct criminal activity.
The wave of mass protests across Johannesburg and KwaZulu-Nata has almost certainly set off new chains of infection for new coronavirus infections in South Africa. The virus seems to spread the most when people yell, sneeze, or cough. It is transmitted most efficiently in crowds and large gatherings, and research has found that just a few contagious people can infect hundreds of susceptible people around them. The virus can spread especially easily in small, cramped places, such as police vans and jails.
Helen Keller once said; “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”
According to Andrew Carnegie, “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results”.
Ubuntu is a Nguni term meaning “humanity”. It is sometimes translated as “I am because we are”, or “humanity towards others”, or in Zulu, umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu. It is clear that the communities of Merebank, Bluff, and Wentworth have magnificently displayed this sentiment.