South Africa: Report From the Looting Frontline - I Am the Closest I Have Ever Been to Losing Hope

South African Minister of the Police Bheki Cele inspects damage at Pan African Mall in Alexandra on July 13, 2021.

Nothing is moving now besides the media, the desperate, the criminals, the opportunistic and the civilian patrols and vigilante groups trying to keep them at bay.

Forgive me in advance if what I am writing might reflect that I have lost property, a business or any other asset in the looting and violence that has gripped my home province of KwaZulu-Natal. I had lost none of these things at the time of writing. My health and that of my family are intact.

I am an everyman in this tragedy, one of millions of citizens trying to make it through the night without being overwhelmed by emotion as an unprecedented number of gunshots puncture the dark, as looters carry their wares past my home, screaming, shouting, laughing, drunk and drinking.

Looters who, up to the time of publication, had chosen not to toss a match the way of any of the homes in my working to lower middle-class suburb.

This benevolence, if you will, fills me with a shameful sense of gratitude and the reddest of rage. I have zero desire to analyse it.

Within a 10km radius of my home, malls, shops and businesses are...

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