July 12th: At about 5.00pm today, a couple of hundred ‘protestors’ marched onto the premises of the Value Logistics warehouse in Cato Ridge. Although there was a police presence as well as security, the ‘protestors’ taunted them rather than feared them. “Shoot me. Shoot me,’ one of them shouted at the cops. I spoke to Steven Gottschalk, MD of Value Logistics, to confirm whether a note doing the rounds stating that the warehouse was on fire and that staff were being held hostage was true or not. It was not true but as Gottschalk emphasised – NOT YET! As we spoke at around 10pm, the warehouse was being looted by the invaders with goods being stolen from the warehouse and loaded into cars and taxis parked in the yard.
“There is nothing we can do. There are too many of them,” said Gottschalk. “And what they will do afterwards is unknown. So the warehouse is not on fire – YET!” Earlier in the afternoon, a Value Logistics horse and trailer had been burnt and destroyed on the road leading up to the warehouse. This company is one which just recently celebrated its 40tn anniversary of operations in South Africa. It is a local, home-grown company and employs 4 500 people. Does it deserve to be treated like this? The answer is no. It is a solid contributor to the South Africa economy and sustains 4 500 employees and their families. And now this?
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