Today's Big Stories

Why would a mob torch a fire engine?

Johannesburg Emergency Services have confirmed that a firefighter is in hospital this morning after protesters in Soweto attacked a passing engine, stoned it and then set it alight. The residents in the Mzimhlophe hostel area are protesting over the supply of electricity.

The fire truck belonged to the Diepkloof Station and was a "first turn out" vehicle, which means it was normally amongs the first to arrive at an emergency or rescue. The equipment on the truck was damaged or destroyed while some equipment was stolen. Read more about this on the EWN website.

Stephen spoke to EMS's Robert Mulaudzi about the incident.

We want to urge the communities in that area with information on those involved, so that they can be faced with full might of the law.

Robert Mulaudzi, Joburg Emergency Management Services

Stephen also speaks to psychologist, Dr Saths Cooper about why a mob would see fit to set alight a fire engine - mostly perceived as a peaceful symbol.

Dr Cooper suggests that the mob has a warped sense of reality and a warped sense of what can be seen as a legitimate target and what can't. He says that it is incumbent on law enforcement to act swiftly before 'all hell breaks lose'.

Clearly law enforcement is out of their depth, and clearly leadership is not giving enough attention to these touch points and issues that give rise to this kind of seething irrationality. If allowed to carry on, we're in for a torrid and terrible time.

Dr Saths Cooper, Clinical Psychologist and anti-Apartheid activist

Listen to the conversation below:


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