It’s Not ‘Just Property’ That’s Lost When Mobs Riot and Loot

Looters are deterred by the sprinkler system at a Dollar Tree store in Brooklyn Center, Minn., April 12, 2021. (Nick Pfosi/Reuters)
It’s jobs, tax revenues, related economic activity, and vital community services, too.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE ‘T here was nothing left to loot.”

That’s how one observer explained the eventual descent of quiet onto a Soweto commercial district that, like many others, was wiped clean by looters after the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma on corruption charges. An “orgy of arson and looting,” as Reuters called it, has left dozens dead and hundreds of businesses destroyed.

Neighbors interviewed by BBC reporters lamented the destruction. They may not love their local grocers and shopkeepers, but they rely on them for the necessities of life. The looters come and go, but, as one local put it, “we’re the ones who

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