Learn how to survive the chaos of a violent protest.

We find ourselves in tense times currently and many people are not happy with their circumstances. Couple that with ‘powers-that-be’ who wish to agitate (divide and conquer) in an attempt to control an outcome. Sad to say, but recent changes in our country have made it necessary for people to learn how to survive the chaos of a violent protest.

Avoidance is probably the first step, with social media now providing an excellent way of tracking this.

In a large crowd, the energy of mass emotion can be contagious and rapidly spiral out of control. It often will only take one person to set a chain reaction in motion of high emotion or chaos. Recent protests may have become violent by agitators who have been planted there to set things in motion.

Stay calm and keep your emotions in check. Violent protests & riots coincide with intense emotions that boil to the surface, but if you want to survive one you would be better off keeping your own emotions in check. In the heat of the moment, your adrenaline and survival instincts will kick in, but try to think rationally and pursue safety in a methodical manner.

Avoid confrontation. The presumption here is that you have not intended to participate in a choas, so do not engage with others. Keep your head down, while at the same time looking for safe exit, but maintain situational awareness.

Mob or Herd mentality is sometimes a fear-based reaction to peer pressure which makes individuals act in order to avoid feeling “left behind” from the group.

People in a violent mob will believe they cannot be held responsible for violent behavior because they perceive the violent action as the group’s (e.g., “everyone was doing it”) rather than their own behavior. When in a large group, people tend to experience less individual responsibility. Typically, the bigger a mob, the more its members lose self-awareness and become willing to engage in dangerous behavior. When people feel that their behavior cannot be traced back to them, they are more likely to break social norms and engage in violence. Group violence is most likely to occur when the group is large, and people are able to remain anonymous.

Do not be singled out – just keep moving without engaging. Even if your emotional state wants to challenge the protest or the looting, don’t do it. There’s absolutely nothing to gain – you are not going to change anyone’s mind at this point…

Walk. Don’t run. Don’t stop. If you run or go too quickly, you might attract unwanted attention.

Move inside and stay there. Typically riots happen in the streets, or somewhere outside. Being inside, especially in a large and sturdy structure, can be good protection to wait it out. (though beware of potential looting)

Keep your doors and windows locked. Don’t watch the riot from windows or balconies. Move to inside rooms, where the danger of being hit by stones, bullets, ect is minimized. Try to find at least two possible exits in case you need to evacuate the building in a hurry.

Stay on the sidelines. If you’re caught up in a chaos, don’t take sides. Try to look as inconspicuous as possible, and slowly and carefully move to the outside of the mob. Stay close to walls or other protective barriers if possible but try to avoid bottlenecks of people. These are areas where the crowd can be squashed into a tight place, such as passages, pillars, high fences and walls that go on for a long way.

It’s hard to tell the victims from the violent protestors in a chaotic environment, and if you approach the police for help at that time, they may mistake that for intent to harm. This tip might seem a little counter-intuitive at first, but it really is a smart move during a violent protest. Whether or not you are involved in a protest, be careful of how you approach authorities – try to ensure you are not seen as a threat.

Once you are personally safe (with or without your vehicle) call family or friends to let them know where you are, and what is happening.

If you’re caught up in a car, stay calm. Remain inside the car unless your car becomes a focus for the riot, in which case it risks being torched, smashed or rolled over. Calmly and swiftly leave it behind and get to safety if that happens. If people seem to block your escape route; use your hooter, and carefully drive through or around them at a moderate speed, and they should move out of the way. Driving towards police lines can be interpreted by the police as a preparation to use the car as a weapon against them. DON’T DO IT.

Move away from the riot. The more time you spend in the midst of the chaos, the greater your chance of being injured or killed. That said, in most circumstances it’s better to move out of a protest and choas slowly. It can also be dangerous to move against a crowd, so go with the flow until you are able to escape into a doorway or into a street away from the crowd. Think of crowd movement like currents in the ocean. In a large riot, the crowd in the middle will be moving faster than the people on the perimeters. As such, if you find yourself in the middle, you should not try to move in a different direction, but follow the flow and slowly make your way to the outside. This requires patience in order to work properly.

Watch your footing in a mob situation. If you stumble and fall to the ground you’re likely to be trampled. This is especially dangerous in stadiums and other enclosed areas, where many unfortunate victims have been crushed to death. If you fall down, pull yourself up into a ball. Protect your face, ears and internal organs. In this position you are a smaller object that can be avoided. You will receive less damage if you are stepped on. If others trip on you they will help create a larger “pile” that rioters will avoid.

If you’re with your family or a group of friends when the chaos breaks loose, make sure to stick together.

If at all possible, try to agree to a good meeting place to regroup at ahead of time. Your time is better spent looking for an exit instead of trying to find people who’ve gotten lost.

When a riot breaks out, one of the most common crowd dispersion tools used by police or military is tear gas.

Note: ‘Tear Gas’ is technically a micro-pulverized powder dispensed with a pressure sprayer, or various grenade-like canisters. If it is in the eyes, to clear the eyes have the victim lie down, turn his head to the side and wash the eyes with water or saline. You are removing the micro-pulverized powder from the eyes and face and not washing it over into the other eye.

Keep emergency numbers stored in your phone on speed dial. This is a good idea in general – they are always handy in an emergency:

  • Vision Tactical
  • 084 222 2222
  • SAPS
  • 10111
  • Emergency Dial (Cell Phone)
  • 112
  • ER 24
  • 084 124


#ORTamboHeist: Three accused get bail

Lindi Masinga
Johannesburg – Three men alleged to be involved in the heist at the OR Tambo International Airport in March were granted bail – collectively amounting to R30 000 – by the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court on Monday.Sibusiso Mnisi, Prince Dube and Thando Sonqishe are facing charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances for their alleged involvement in what is considered one of South Africa’s biggest heists.

Magistrate Amukelani Msineki granted Sibusiso Mnisi R50 000 bail and he has to report four times a week to the Kempton Park police station.

He is not allowed to leave Gauteng until the matter is finalised unless he gets permission by the investigating officer.

Earlier, the magistrate said that Mnisi’s defence council had to prove that there were exceptional circumstances that made him qualify for bail. She said that the state and defence had agreed that the charges he was facing fell under schedule five on the Criminal Procedure Act. Mnisi, 39, made his bail application on March 31. He told the court that he was a maintenance worker and earned R7 000.

In his affidavit Mnisi denied being involved in the heist and that there was no evidence linking him to the crime. He said that his admission statement was made under duress.

Investigating officer Colonel Mabina Mahlangu alleged that Mnisi supplied the cellphones that were used by the suspects to communicate. Mnisi said that he had no previous convictions and the state did not bring forward any information of previous misconduct.

Magistrate Msineki said that there was no reason to suspect that Mnisi had any previous convictions. She said the accused had strong emotional ties in South Africa as his family was based in the country. He has no passport to travel outside the country.

The magistrate added that the admission statement could be used during the trial stage and that investigations were still under way and further evidence could emerge. “There’s nothing that links the applicant, except the admission statement.

The state did not show this court how the applicant was involved,” Msineki said.

The magistrate granted Prince Dube R150 000 bail including conditions of reporting Monday to Friday and twice on weekends and that he had to surrender all his traveling documents. During judgement, Msineki said that Dube denied being involved in the heist and that there was no evidence linking him to the crime. In his affidavit dube said he earned R400 000 per month.

Later in court the accused said the amount was in fact his annual income.

“Colonel Mahlangu found that he had four previous convictions and it was contradictory to Dube’s affidavit which said that he had two previous convictions.” Dube’s defence said that he couldn’t remember all his convictions as they happened many years ago.

The investigation officer found that Dube was not a documented citizen and that he was from Zimbabwe.

The accused has four previous convictions of which he only disclosed two. Mahlangu said the accused was most likely to evade trial and commit other crimes.

However, the magistrate said setting strict bail conditions could prevent Dube from evading trial. She said that the state had not given evidence or documents proving that Dube was a Zimbabwean or that he was illegally residing in South Africa.

“The identity number provided was used to find his previous convictions, it was used by SARS to find the various companies he owns.” Msineki said that the state’s case was doubted as Dube was merely linked by an admission statement.

“There’s nothing that links the accused to this case and that he was on the scene on commission of the offence. A SBV uniform was found in his possession, not a SAPS uniform.” Msineki said that the investigation officer said that the money found could be linked to the crime, but there was no evidence directly linking it to the heist.

Due to technical difficulties, the full judgment of Thando Sonqishe could not be read. The magistrate granted Thando Sonqishe bail of R100 000 and he has to report to the Midrand Police Station seven days a week and that he has to notify the investigating officer if he wished to leave the province. Court was adjourned to Tuesday.

Fight fire with fire, Mbalula tells the police

Acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane, right, welcomes the newly appointed Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, centre, and his deputy, Bongani Mkongi, in Pretoria. Picture: Bongani Shilubane

Pretoria – New Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula urged members of the SAPS on Tuesday to fight fire with fire.

The former sport and recreation minister said the relationship between the department and criminals would be like “chalk and cheese”.

“We are not going to be soft on criminals. Police officers must fight fire with fire,” he said.

Mbalula made this promise during a parade to mark his official welcome to the Police Ministry at the SAPS Academy in Pretoria West.

He was accompanied by his deputy Bongani Mkongi.

“When President Jacob Zuma appointed us, he said we must mobilise our people to work with the police to fight and defeat crime,” Mbalula said, adding fighting and beating crime was their mandate.

“No police officer will die in vain; anyone who kills a police officer will be met with fire. I am not saying shoot-to-kill, but shoot back. You have guns; use them to protect yourselves and communities.”

Mbalula urged communities to work together with the police to fight crime. He also urged the police to be honest and not be on the payroll of criminals. “Minister Gigaba (finance minister Malusi Gigaba), said the police budget must be increased so we can fight crime,” he said.

Mbalula was also critical of the tendency by communities to destroy infrastructure during protests.

He said students and every citizen were allowed to protest, but should not destroy property.

Mkongi called for police officers’ salaries to be increased. “If we want to beat the negative morale of police officers, we must pay them well so they could do their jobs.”

Acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane said SAPS members were willing and committed to take guidance and direction from Mbalula in the execution of their work.

Mbalula said he would focus on places like Sunnyside as criminals had captured the city.

He said they planned roadshows to get first-hand experience on challenges faced by police.

Pretoria News

Police not coping, says David Makhura

February 26, 2016.Gauteng Premier David Makhura at the media briefing at the Gauteng Legislature in Johannesburg.picture:FREDDY MAVUNDA © Financial Mail

Johannesburg – Police men and women were not coping in the fight against crime in the province, Gauteng Premier David Makhura said as he delivered the State of the Province Address (SOPA) on Monday.

“The trajectory on crime remains negative. From Sophiatown to Soshanguve, Kagiso to Katlehong, Khutsong to Evaton, Elodrado Park to Rossettenville, Olievenhoutbosch to Tembisa… our communities are terrorised by gangsters, drug lords and rapists. Murder and robbery remains excruciatingly high, violence against women, children and members of the [lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex] LGBTI community remains out of control,” Makhura told MPLs in Randfontein, west of Johannesburg.

“Our police men and women are not coping. They are not getting the leadership they require from the top management, mainly due to infighting among the leaders of our law enforcement agencies.”

The provincial government a new policing plan through to try and turn the tide on crime in Gauteng. The plan included the establishment of specialised units closed down by former national police commissioner, Jackie Selebi between 2000 and 2006.

“I want every station, cluster and indeed the provincial commissioner to report every eight weeks about crime reduction targets. We want to see real progress in closure of drug dens and the arrest and prosecution of drug lords. I want to see serious decline in crimes perpetrated against the most vulnerable in our communities such as women, children, the elderly and the LGBTI community,” he said.

Turning to the recent torching of houses purported to belong to drug lords in Johannesburg’s Rosettenvile and in Pretoria West, Makhura said urged leaders to handle the issue of migrants carefully.

“I have always been clear that everyone is welcome in Gauteng, the home for all. We are South Africa’s most cosmopolitan and Afropolitan province. I have personally participated in marches and said very clearly that I am against xenophobia. I would like to call on all leaders to handle the matter of migrants with a great deal of sensitivity and care. In any country, migrants and refugees are very vulnerable people,” he said.

“We must never try to stigmatise or criminalise all migrants and foreign nationals because this will have devastating consequences that would lead to the death of innocent people. The whole world is grappling with this issue right now and let us deal with this matter in way that would not fan the flames of xenophobic violence.”


JOBURG motorists face a new terror.

Smash-and-grab thugs are no longer satisfied with just targeting unsuspecting drivers at traffic lights. They’ve now been spotted on the M1 north double-decker highway, which is congested by roadworks, making easy pickings!

Yesterday, motorists saw three men armed with guns brazenly walking up to drivers’ windows, knocking and demanding their valuables.

After taking what they wanted, they simply ran away.

The Joburg Roads Agency announced that there will be additional road closures on the M1 for the next two weeks.

The busy highway is currently under construction as part of the city’s multibillion rand investment in storm water infrastructure improvement, set to be completed by May.

Agency spokeswoman Bertha Peter-Scheepers said members of the public should familiarise themselves with the lane restrictions during off-peak as well as peak times, to plan their route in advance and avoid delays.

She added that they would liaise with Metro police to discuss the criminal activity.

“We will ensure we contact the JMPD and ask them to up their presence on the road.”

JMPD spokesman Wayne Minnaar said: “We will send more officials to the highway, although our men are already on the M1 to assure that no unlawful activities occur.”


Hawks arrest Chubb guards in FNB safety deposit boxes robbery

JOHANNESBURG – The Hawks have arrested two Chubb security guards in connection with a robbery at a First National Bank (FNB) branch in Ferndale, where 360 safety deposit boxes were stolen.

It’s alleged the guards stole the boxes after drilling the wall to gain access to the vault in December.

The boxes contained valuables such as firearms, jewellery, money and documents.

The Hawks’ Ndivhuwo Mulamu says, “We followed up on information and recovered only 250 of those safety deposit boxes. They were damaged, forcibly opened and emptied at an open field near FNB Stadium, just three days after the robbery.”


Last month, FNB CEO Jacques Celliers said early findings of an internal investigation into a heist at their Parktown branch led to the suspension of three employees believed to be linked to the crime.

The bank said it will assist and facilitate customers in with their insurance claims, but was unclear what will happen to those who had not covered their valuables.

Celliers said a final report still needs to be completed.

“It would appear that there could’ve been some collusion between our staff and in that case we’ll be reaching out to them to try and have discussions around the next steps.”


Celliers said a separate investigation is taking place for the Randburg branch and the bank will only be in a position to assess claims once that probe is done.

“There are conversations around how we can help and come to a settlement. Depending on the final internal investigation, unless some other information comes up, we’re very interested to see if we can get finality and closure as soon as possible.”




31st January 2017

The Vision Tactical Intervention Unit (VTAC – IU) is an elite element established to provide operational support for the Tactical Units and Armed Response units working to stabilise volatile situations by combating serious and violent crimes.

VTAC – IU is the dedicated command which focuses on keeping people safe and is responsible for a wide range of prevention and intervention functions including violence and harm reduction.

“The unit will render specialised operational support and assistance to The South African Police Service SAPS and other law enforcement with high-risk situations” said Yaseen Theba, Director of Vision Tactical. “Its important that we support our Police Service with the resources we have”, he added.

Members of VTAC – IU are cross-trained in multiple disciplines for safety and security and emergency medical care backed up by ER24.

Vision Tactical is active in Houghton, Killarney, Norwood, Oaklands and surrounding areas. Others areas included Amalgam, Crown Mines and surrounding areas.



Yaseen Theba

Cell 064 400 0000



Lane restrictions M1 double decker bridge

Johannesburg Road Agency (JRA)’s rehabilitation project of the Double Decker bridge on the M1 freeway is at an advanced stage. JRA Managing Director, Dr Sean Phillips has indicated that the Double Decker rehabilitation project will have increased traffic implications for motorists, from Saturday, 4 February to 18 February 2017.

The Double Decker bridge rehabilitation includes structural repairs, rehabilitation and maintenance to bridge beams, asphalt surfacing, expansion joints, drainage systems and the installation of new road signs.

The majority of the repairs are presently being carried out at night to avoid traffic disruption. However, to ensure the project reaches completion in the shortest amount of time with minimal impact to motorists, the following changes will be implemented during the rehabilitation phase:

Lane restrictions:

Commencing Saturday, 4 February – Saturday, 18 February two lanes out of the four lanes northbound within the Double Decker section will be closed; this will be reduced to the closure of one lane during peak hour traffic. Motorists are urged to familiarise themselves with the lane reductions during off-peak and peak times, plan their routes in advance to avoid delays and to consider alternative routes.

The City’s Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit system, Metrobus, Metrorail, Gautrain and taxi’s may be considered as alternative transportation for commuters. Traffic applications that can be downloaded from Google Maps, and media will provide alerts on possible traffic jams and delays.
Follow JRA for the latest developments, journey planning tips, alternative routes, and traffic advisory via:

Website: www.jra.org.za
Twitter: @MyJra,
Facebook: Johannesburg Roads Agency
Email hotline@jra.org.za,
JRA Find&Fix mobile app

About the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA)

The JRA is a City-owned agency responsible for the maintenance, repair and development of Johannesburg’s road network and storm water infrastructure, including bridges and culverts, traffic lights and signage. The organisation is committed to providing quality roads that are accessible, safe and liveable for our communities.

Issued by:
Bertha Peters-Scheepers
Ops Manager: CRM, Marketing and Communications
Johannesburg Roads Agency
Tel: 011 298 5023 / 079 510 4186
Email: bscheepers@jra.org.za

‘Over 845 road deaths so far’

1500x844Pretoria – Human factors have been the main cause of the spate of fatal road crashes which have claimed over 845 lives around the country so far this festive season, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said on Saturday.

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) would swiftly investigate the cause of the crashes and the subsequent fatalities, she said in a statement.

“It seems that the harshness of reality has struck in more ways than one. Not only are most of us in normal festive routine, but many South African families remain affected by this holiday season in ways that are far from festive as a result of road carnages. To them, we pay our condolences and ask the rest of South Africa to wake up to the road fatality numbers, which has exceeded the 845 figure and do what they can to ensure that this festive season is in fact a joyous one,” Peters said.

“We are on the second weekend of our festive season festivities and as government we once-more appeal to motorists to do anything in their might to ensure that they reach their destinations safe. As government we will continue to provide leadership and resources to improve road safety, including developing and enforcing laws, providing safer roads, informing the public about road safety issues, and fostering improvements in vehicle safety.

“Ultimately, road safety is a shared responsibility. Every person who uses the roads has an obligation to act safely and internalise sound road safety norms and values.”

Peters called on all road users, motorists, and pedestrians to heed road safety and offered a number of tips in this regard:

* Make sure your vehicle is roadworthy and registered. Make sure that you check the condition of the spare tyre and also if the jack and spanner are in place. A basic tool kit, first aid kit, and fire extinguisher are sound investments. If you are towing a caravan or trailer, ensure that it is in a roadworthy condition. Ensure that you conduct a thorough multi-point safety check which includes all electrical components, brakes, tyres, steering mechanism, and shock absorbers before embarking on your journey.

* Don’t drink and drive at all. Drugged driving, including the use of any form of medication, is prohibited. It impairs your motor skills, reaction time, judgement, and negatively affects your driving skills. In South Africa, the legal limit for alcohol in a driver’s bloodstream is 0.05g/100ml; and for professional drivers 0.02g/100ml. Being below the limit does not automatically lower you risk of being involved in a crash, rather not drink and drive at all.

* Don’t speed. A safe driver is mindful of pedestrians, cyclists, and environmental conditions. Furthermore, one must be aware that there might be unexpected hazards, such as blind bends, vehicles coming out of junctions, and animals on the road. One must therefore adjust your speed according to prevailing conditions.

* Don’t drive when tired. While many drivers believe they can combat fatigue by listening to the radio or talking to passengers; it has been found that these techniques offer some relief, but it is not lasting. Therefore, the only solution to driving when feeling tired is to leave the road, stop driving, and sleep or rest. Take a 15 minute power nap if you feel yourself becoming drowsy; and stop at least once every two hours or after every 200km – it will help to combat fatigue and will give you a chance to restore your ability to concentrate.

* Do not use your cellphone while driving, it is dangerous. It slows your reaction times, interferes with a driver’s concentration and perception skills, together with increasing the chance of being involved in a crash.

* Drive as if you are driving for others – be constantly aware of your surroundings and drive defensively.

* Distracted driving is a killer – do not text while driving.

* If you experience a break-down, park as far left of the roadway as possible and keep watch for little children who may wander onto the road.

* During wet or inclement weather increase your following distance, keep headlights on to increase visibility, check wiper blades and tyres to cope with slippery roads. Ensure your demister is working.

* Road rage is a reality – do not be the cause thereof and do not be a perpetrator. Avoid driving aggressively.

* Always be mindful of your braking distance and blind spots.

* Using seat belts reduces the risk of fatal or serious injury in a crash considerably. It is the driver’s responsibility and legal obligation to ensure that passengers, especially children, are buckled up and are safe and secure. A seat belt can save your life.

* Only overtake when it is safe to do so. Unsafe overtaking could result in a head-on collision, one of the most serious types of crashes on the roads. Make sure you can see that the road ahead is clear before overtaking. Always keep to the left and overtake on the right. Keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times to ensure maximum control in case of a possible incident.

At night, drive with your headlights on and ensure that your brake lights and indicators are in a working condition.

* Keep a safe following distance when travelling – observe the three seconds rule.

* Do not slow down at a crash scene as this can cause an obstruction for other road users and result in further incidents.

* Understand South Africa does not have a traffic law enforcement officer for every kilometre of road, so be responsible, considerate, and patient at all times.

On the Prasa Shosholoza Meyl service, Peters said the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) together with Transnet was working around the clock to ensure that all rail corridors were continuously monitored to ascertain that there were no delays or any disruptions in the rail service.

However, passengers should take note that from time-to-time precautionary safety measures might be implemented.

This meant that trains might run at a reduced speed of 15km/h due to inclement hot weather condition which caused “rail breakouts”, she said.