Shopworkers in a South African town hit by ongoing riots foiled looters by pouring cooking oil on the floor outside the entrance to their store.
The shop is in a mall in Tugela Ferry in KwaZulu-Natal, one of two provinces where days of looting have left businesses, warehouses and factories bare.
A video of the Shoprite employees pouring the oil has been shared online:
Tugela Ferry Mall Shoprite Staff in Msinga poured oil to save the shops inside from looting and it worked. #SaveOurMalls #FreeZumaNow #ShutdownSA #KZNshutdown #NOTOLOOTING #NoToVigilantism #NoToSoldiers pic.twitter.com/fSgnbaR18u
— Buse Majola (@majola_buse) July 15, 2021
The store’s manager, Mduduzo Sikhakhane, told South Africa’s Times Live that the trick had saved them from being looted.
“No-one could go to that side because they were slipping like crazy,” he said.
It was reportedly the only store in the shopping centre that was not overrun.
Another video of people sliding while trying to walk outside the store has also been posted on social media, with some lauding it as a brilliant way to protect businesses:
South Africa: Shoprite employees poured oil in front of the store to keep from looters and this is the resultpic.twitter.com/vXyVfNa12S
— Naija Class Captain (@NaijaClassCapt) July 15, 2021
Shoprite’s management has said that it is working on rebuilding and restocking other stores that have been affected by the looting.
Protests which started in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces after the jailing last week of former President Jacob Zuma have descended into riots.
At least 72 people have died and more than 1,700 have been arrested in South Africa’s worst unrest in years.
According to KwaZulu-Natal’s premier, Sihle Zikalale, the province is so far looking at damages estimated at around 3bn rand ($206m, £149m).