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Secure the parking lot; charge the mallAuthor: Simon Sellars • Jun 25th, 2008 •
We pick up the story as the Metro-Centre shopping mall is overrun and sealed off by a private paramilitary force, forcing a confrontation with police and regular army outside…
‘The Metro-Centre is secure … Withdraw all army units … Repeat, the Metro-Centre is secure … We have hostages … Repeat, we have hostages …’
I stared at the heavy shield, and helped the elderly man to the chair by the enquiry desk. He thanked me and said: ‘Your foot’s bleeding.’
‘I know. Tell me — are we sealed in?’
‘It looks like it.’
‘The North Gate entrance?’
‘I imagine that’s also closed.’
‘And the side exits?’
‘Everything. The car parks and freight entrance.’…
‘…these shopping malls haven’t learned how to cope with violence. When they do…’
‘War will move into the world’s consumer spaces? That’s quite a thought. Up till now, buying a washing machine has been a safe option…’
J.G. Ballard, Kingdom Come, 2006.
In the latest attack in Gauteng, a policeman was critically injured in a shoot-out with a gang of 12 bombers armed with AK47 and R5 assault rifles. In the early hours of Friday morning the gang took control of a parking lot at Bracken City shopping centre, in Brackenhurst, south of Johannesburg. They took about 20 people hostage before blowing up a First National Bank ATM.
“They were like a mini army. The shoot-out ensued when the police heard the explosion and came to investigate,” police spokesman Steady Nawa said.
News report, the Times (South Africa), 2008.
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