Musina Mall kept its doors closed on Tuesday, 13 July, as a safety measure to the ongoing rioting and looting in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. Photo supplied.
While incidents of violent rioting and looting in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and parts of Gauteng persist, towns in the northern parts of the country remain relatively unaffected, going about their business as usual. Earlier this week, an uncomfortable wait-and-see situation existed in the Vhembe District, with some malls, such as those in Musina and Louis Trichardt, opting rather to close as a safety measure.
The incidents of violence and looting are partly ascribed to the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday, 7 July. Masses of angry protesters and supporters, demanding his release, had taken to the streets of KZN, breaking, smashing, and burning buildings and fuel stations, looting businesses as they go. This destruction was very soon emulated in parts of Johannesburg.
In Louis Trichardt, the Makhado Crossing Mall briefly closed its doors on Monday afternoon (12 July), fearing the wave of violence. But the next day, business continued again as usual.
Further north, Musina Mall’s management opted rather to play it safe. “In light of the ongoing unrest in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, the decision has been made to not open Musina Mall and the Great North Plaza for trade today (13 July). The safety and well-being of Musina Mall’s ‘family’ is our main priority in the midst of this uncertain time, and the situation will be closely monitored,” Mr Lister Phahlamohlaka, marketing manager of the mall, said.
According to a Musina resident, Stanley Maphaha, business in town had not yet been and would hopefully not at any time be affected by the rioting.
The Musina Mall reopened on Wednesday and continued operating as normal.
Date:15 July 2021 - By: Bernard Chiguvare
Bernard Chiguvare is a Zimbabwean-born journalist. He writes mainly for the online publication, Groundup.