Mustek’s offices in the North of Durban were ransacked on Monday, with looters stealing everything of value and leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.
Videos and photos which MyBroadband has seen, but was asked not to publish, show utter devastation after looters and vandals set upon Mustek’s offices.
“We just had a feeling… we saw the reports of unrest and some of our staff said that they were struggling to get out of their neighbourhoods. So we told everyone to stay home on Monday,” Mustek managing director Hein Engelbrecht told MyBroadband.
Engelbrecht said that with the Alert Level 4 lockdown in place, all of the sales staff that usually work from their Durban offices were already working from home.
Only some operational staff who work on dispatch, after-sales, and support were still working from the office.
According to Engelbrecht, when the looters first arrived on the scene, their security personnel tried to hold them off but were overrun.
One security guard was hospitalised.
The police soon arrived and dispersed the mob. After things were calm for a while, the police moved on.
The police weren’t gone for ten minutes before the looters returned in full force, stripping the office bare.
Looting continues in Durban as people make their way down Queen Nandi Drive to Umgeni Road where several factory outlets have been hit. People have been flocking to warehouses in Umgeni the whole day. A Mecer building has also been torched. #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/HFvuLnTBo8
— Jayed-Leigh Paulse (@JayedLeigh) July 13, 2021
Engelbrecht said the rioters tore through the property, ripping screens off of walls and damaging company delivery vehicles.
While the temporary loss of their Durban offices will cause some service disruption for clients in KwaZulu-Natal, Engelbrecht said it does not impact their national operations.
He said that as soon as the highway between Johannesburg and Durban re-opens, Mustek can restructure to serve KwaZulu-Natal clients from Gauteng — though this will cost a bit more.
Engelbrecht could not provide an estimate of the cost of the damage.
“We did hold some stock at the premises to service customers,” he said.
“We are busy assessing the damage — I don’t want to guess right now.”