I spent all of last week managing, deploying, and assisting my anti-riot strike teams at companies and shopping malls from Cape Town to Durban. Proudly I can say that not one premises protected by our men was breached or vandalised.
What does concern me, however, is whether what we have just experienced with the “looting” and violence was not just a crafty play by those behind the insurrection to test the waters.
Boxers will tell you that they will fake a punch or push out a jab to gauge and get a sense of their opponents’ reaction. In reality, the real aim is to follow that up with a devastating attack based on the weaknesses they saw.
Certain news outlets reported that SAPS recently uncovered a plot to attack police stations and possibly gun shops in a second round of “looting”. This time to obtain arms and ammunition.
My view is that the masterminds and orchestrators of last week’s anarchy learnt three important things. These are:
- The ruling party’s reaction and decisiveness (or lack thereof) in dealing with multiple hot zones is not going to improve in a hurry.
- The SAPS and SANDF are outnumbered, under trained, and completely out of touch with how to deal with mass uprisings.
- Certain communities, businesses, and individuals will take it upon themselves to look after and protect what is theirs.
This could very well be the motivation behind the “looters” being encouraged to arm themselves for a potential second onslaught of violence.
Now, no matter what your stance is on fighting back, counter attacking or simply defending your country and families, there is one aspect we cannot ignore… are we/you prepared? Caught with our pants down two weeks ago, we are counting the costs now. Some are sadly even counting lives that were lost. Knowing now what we did not know then, should certainly be driving your plans going forward.
- Are your factories adequately protected against foot invasion?
- Are our schools practiced in emergency evacuation procedures?
- What is your street or neighbourhood’s stance on community driven and controlled protection?
- Do you have fuel, food, or whatever medical supplies you may need should another backlog occur?
Please do not read this as a call for all South Africans to go into prepping mode. No, not at all… but as an international business and personal protection risk consultant, I am urging you to have these uncomfortable discussions. With family, neighbours, and your employees.
Failing to plan, is planning to fail!
There is only so much one can do to lawfully protect and counter criminal attacks. Yet, the overwhelming vast majority of us do not even consider where we would go should our neighbourhood fall to chaos.
I am advocating that after what we have just witnessed in this country, we are being very naive to think it could not happen again – whether Zuma related, poverty driven, or a genuine coup attempt.
My company and I are available to engage and assist you with scenario planning, risk management talks, and armed protection.
Should you require any of these please do not hesitate to contact us.
We live in uncertain times… but let us not act with uncertainty.
Kyle Condon is an international speaker and consulting professional on the subject of strike and crowd control.
His teams are seasoned veterans of strike protection professionals.