Since the food riots that took place in mid-July, soldiers from the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) have been stationed at different shopping complexes and community centres in townships around Gauteng.
On 28 July 2021 a young woman (who did not want to be named) went to Daveyton Mall to get some groceries. When she arrived, Zandile (not her real name) saw there were soldiers everywhere guarding the mall at the entrances and accosting people.
“I really didn’t feel comfortable because some of the soldiers were giving us a hard time and asking questions like what are we going to do at the mall. They [told us] we shouldn’t go to more than two shops which made other customers leave the mall without buying anything.”
According to Zandile, “the mall hasn’t been busy or full since the [food riots] took place and business has been really slow because of the soldiers who harass people and cause chaos in the mall.”
Many residents of Daveyton have shared that they don’t feel safe to go to the mall anymore because of the treatment they are getting from the soldiers there. Some have suggested that the soldiers be moved out of the mall to monitor elsewhere so they can shop in peace.
This article was submitted on 4 August 2021. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article (https://karibu.org.za/sandf-soldiers-stationed-at-daveyton-mall-leave-residents-feeling-unsafe/).