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'It's a miracle my business survived the looting'

The trail of damage left during the looting that happened overnight at a mall next to Germiston railway station.
The trail of damage left during the looting that happened overnight at a mall next to Germiston railway station.
Image: Penwell Dlamini

"It is a miracle that my business survived."

These are the words of a businessman who is still in disbelief on how his cosmetic outlet survived the overnight looting that took place at a mall next to Germiston railway station on the East Rand.

"I don't know how my business survived. Next to me was a cellphone shop which they looted. They targeted Pep store and stole everything they could get," said the businessman who only identify himself as Gift.

Listen | What Police Minister General Bheki Cele plans to do about violent looting in Gauteng

Gift told Sowetan that business owners had to come and protect their shops with their own firearms as there were few police officers on the ground on Monday night.

"They entered the mall through different entrances and looted everything. They were carrying grinders to cut the gates. It was unbelievable. Just as they were heading for the ATMs, I called FNB to alert them of what was going on. The bank sent Fidelity Guards," said Gift.

He said the looting continued from 9pm on Monday night till 4am on Tuesday morning when police reinforcement arrived. Every other  shop at the mall was looted. By mid-morning on Tuesday, business owners in Germiston were  still trying to take whatever was left of their stock under police guard.

"How can I invest a cent in this country? Look at what has happened to our businesses. We are not protected," said one of the business owners.

Police have had their hands full over the past 48 hours as shops were looted in various parts of Gauteng.

Premier David Makhura has already condemned the violence and has warned that the provincial government could call for the SA National Defence Force reinforcements if things get worse.

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