Taxi Associations around the area of Tzaneen responded in their numbers on Thursday afternoon the 15th of July after a rumour was spread that looters were planning on attacking the Tzaneen Lifestyle Centre.

This after the various taxi associations from Tzaneen and surrounding areas swore an oath to protect businesses against any threat of violence or looting earlier this week after the outbreak of nationwide violence at major retail stores. The taxi associations have been working closely with the local law enforcement and security agencies and the situation is being very closely monitored.

Bulletin was at the scene and spoke to Alida Smit, General Manager of Tzaneen Lifestyle Centre who confirmed that there was no instance of violence or looting and that because of the rumour, the shop’s management took precautionary measures.

“Thank you to the taxi drivers who reacted to the potential threat and within minutes arrived at the centre to face any potential threat. It is uplifting to witness how an entire community has come together to protect what is ultimately theirs. This has just shown us the community spirit and togetherness. We are glad to say that no looting or rioting has occurred and trust the situation will remain the same in Tzaneen. We thank every responder, taxi association and drivers, municipal employees, SAPS and every member of the community for their effort in keeping our businesses safe.”

Voice notes of panicked individuals who were at the popular shopping centre at the time that the taxi’s arrived, spread like wildfire over all social media platforms which created undue panic. There were reports by shoppers who were inside Checkers at the time, who said that they saw two young men being escourted out of the shop by centre management. One eye witness said that it was believed to have been two shoplifters who took a chance when they saw a gap. These reports have not been confirmed or linked to any planned looting action.

Far North Bulletin will keep our community updated on the situation and if there are any alarms or causes for concern, we will inform you on our Facebook page at Far North Bulletin.