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Samsung, Mustek among tech firms targeted in KZN anarchy

Distribution centre in Cato Ridge attacked by looters.
Image: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Samsung Electronics has been heavily impacted by the ongoing lawlessness in KwaZulu-Natal, with the company’s distribution centre in Cato Ridge attacked by looters.

Samsung South Africa director Justin Hume confirmed via a text message on Tuesday that the Korean electronics giant’s operations in the province have been targeted.

“Unfortunately, our distribution centre in Cato Ridge was attacked as well as a number of our service centres,” Hume said. “These relate to our consumer electronics ranges — for example, TVs and refrigerators.”

Hume said he’ll provide additional information as soon as he has it to hand.

TechCentral understands that criminal gangs also broke into facilities owned by LG Electronics, but the publication has not yet been able to reach anyone at the company.

Meanwhile, TechCentral has learnt that the Durban offices and warehouse of JSE-listed IT distribution group Mustek were trashed on Monday.

Security guards attacked

Mustek MD Hein Engelbrecht said no employees were present at its Durban offices when the criminals breached the security at the Redlyn Business Park north of the city — the company had told staff to stay at home given the volatile situation.

“They attacked the office complex at around midday,” he said. “They hurt the security guards badly and broke down the gate.”

The looters then gained access to Mustek’s top-floor sales area, where they proceeded to steal anything they could, but especially TVs, monitors and laptops. They also gained access to Mustek’s warehouse and damaged the company’s fleet of vehicles and stole stock meant for customers.

(c) 2021 NewsCentral Media

Duncan McLeod is Editor of TechCentral, on which this article was first published here.

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There are some things in life that money cannot buy; for everything else there’s …

The South African insurance industry (and other industries) should obtain the serial numbers of all these stolen items and put them on a watch-list. When somebody tries to insure these stolen items they should be automatically black-listed for life. One could expand this deterrent to purchase stolen goods or steal goods to other sectors of the economy as well, eg. applications for jobs, visas, drivers licenses et cetera. There is a similar system gaining traction in China with face recognition camera monitoring that could be the solution for SA, albeit an invasive, some say necessary, one.

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