What’s happening in South Africa on Thursday 15 July? We’ve got the latest news stories that has kept South Africans glued to the headlines throughout the country.

There was still some looting and burning of businesses taking place in parts of South Africa, although a tense calm has taken hold of many of the riots hot spots in KZN and Gauteng. Communities still remain on high alert as sporadic incidents are reported. Supermarkets are beginning to contemplate opening again despite the threat of being looted once more.

Yesterday, Wednesday 14 July, saw thousands of people queue for food, fuel and basic goods as shop shelves emptied out and petrol stations ran dry. But beneath it all, there was a glimmer of hope. Community members and taxi drivers in Durban and other centres have banded together to clean up the mess left by looters in the streets of their towns and cities.


Riots: EFF’s Malema declines to meet with ‘uncompromising’ Ramaphosa

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has declined an invitation to meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa and discuss a way forward as riots continue to wreak havoc in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Gauteng, saying that he “won’t participate in rubbish”. 

According to TimesLIVE, Ramaphosa extended invitation to opposition party leaders to come to the tale and discuss a strategy to emerge from the current violence engulfing South Africa, but Malema dismissed this as an unproductive attempt to “impress white people”. 

TimesLIVE said on Wednesday that Malema feels that Ramaphosa is only interested in appeasing the demands of the Democratic Alliance (DA), and any potential talks between the EFF and the African National Congress leader would ultimately dissolve into “nonsense”. 

“I don’t participate in rubbish. I told them not to invite me to their nonsense again. I don’t participate in non-productive meetings meant to impress white people,” he told TimesLIVE. 

LOOK: Food shelves emptied out – parts of SA gripped by ‘panic buying’

Cry, the beloved country. In scenes reminiscent of the start of the coronavirus pandemic, widespread incidents of ‘panic buying’ have been reported in KZN, Gauteng, and even a handful of food stores in other provinces.

On Monday, President Ramaphosa warned that an extended period of unrest would cripple SA’s food chain. Basic provisions such as bread, milk, and meat were all missing from the shelves of South Africa’s biggest supermarkets on Wednesday. Albany, one of the biggest bread producers in the country, confirmed they are having ‘distribution issues’.

“Since Sunday afternoon, our KZN Bakeries have been temporarily closed due to the civil unrest in the province. In Gauteng, the delivery of bread is constrained due to challenges in accessing certain areas. We are continuing to distribute bread where it is safe to do so. Unfortunately, we cannot confirm the exact locations at the moment.” | Albany

Level 4 rules on gatherings RELAXED – in a bid to prevent more riots

This one might take some mental gymnastics before you work out the government’s intentions here, but a new directive to Level 4 lockdown laws has been published on Wednesday, with the sole aim of preventing any further riots from happening. The government’s solution, however, allows an EASING of rules of gatherings.

At first, this step comes across as a little counter-intuitive. After all, the greatest strength of these looters is that they are large in numbers, and any legislation that encourages gatherings perhaps doesn’t sound so wise in the current climate.

Level 4 regulations forbid any sizeable gatherings from taking place, but caution has been hurled to the wind by those partaking in mass demonstrations of violence and destruction this week. From Nkandla through to Gauteng, the behavior of protesters has been utterly against the spirit of lawful compliance. So how will this tactical tweak actually work?

Mandela’s grandson on the unrest: ‘Culprits must be brought to book’

Chief Mandla Mandela has also expressed his condolences to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives. He has voiced his support for business owners whose establishments have been targeted in the riots.

He has praised some of the community leaders who have been protecting some of the infrastructure, mainly malls, from damage.

“We call on South Africans right across our landscape to continue preserving our malls and ensuring that people are gaining access to food because in all of this mayhem, what is being affected most is that we are slowly witnessing the erosion of us being able to access food in the local stores,” Mandela said in an interview with eNCA.

Beaches in Jeffreys Bay closed, as surfer injured in ‘shark attack’

A surfer in Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape has been rushed to hospital on Wednesday morning, after he was bitten during a shark attack at The Point. The Kouga Municipality has decided to close several beaches along the coastline following the incident, and urged locals to take all necessary precautions.

The victim, who has been identified as a 38-year-old male from Cape Town, was helped from the water by his fellow surfers, shortly after 7:00. He is now in a stable condition, but suffered significant puncture wounds to his leg and body.

Although details about the incident are not fully confirmed, it’s understood he was bumped off his board during the shark attack, and the sea-dwelling predator then moved rapidly to try and take a chunk out of its unsuspecting target.


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Presh JM Reporter

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