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Asking readers about security booms…

“Boom times” are over for many upmarket Johannesburg residents. The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA), via the City of Johannesburg, calling gated communities a security policy infringement, has cracked down on unofficial road closures.



Letters/Discussion Forums


The City of Johannesburg has vowed to remove all illegal booms across public roads.

There is a proviso, however, that residents may apply to have the booms legalised if, inter alia, they are not electronically operated, pedestrian gates are open 24 hours a day and there is free access for motorists, except under suspicious conditions.

The SA Jewish Report approached readers who gave their views. 

Eastern suburbs resident Lisa Joffe says that gated communities are acceptable, provided conditions attached to permission for closures are adhered to.“We can’t have a domestic worker, for example, walking an extra five kilometres because pedestrian gates are closed.“Security guards should be monitoring people walking through these gates,” she said.

Debbie Hirschowitz, of Sydenham, said that boomed-off roads definitely serve a purpose in bringing down the level of crime. “It has helped tremendously,” she said, “and we need the guards. I think that it’s a definite deterrent.”

Evelyn Green, Evelyn Green (003)
musical director of the Johannesburg Jewish Male Choir, who lives in a closed-off street in Orange Grove, said she was “dead against the removal of the booms and the 24-hour opening of pedestrian gates. “You can never know who is walking in,” she said. Green said the streets in her area were closed at night and over the weekends. “There is only one entrance during these times and everything is done to increase entrance security. “Personally, in addition to the road closures, I make sure that a guard from my security company is warned in advance and meets me outside my home when I go out at night.”

Yvonne Berger, Yvonne Berger (003)
who lives in a boomed area in Glen Atholl – plus has extra security in her complex – wants the booms to remain. “I think this (proposal) is ridiculous and I am just hoping it won’t happen. Apart from the security problem it poses, they should consider the number of security guards who will be out of work. One has to bear this in mind. I want the booms to remain, in spite of the extra security in my complex.”

Sophie Hirschowitz Sophie Hirschowitz (003)
says the booms are up for a reason and to attempt to remove them is “most unfair. “What will happen if your leave pedestrian gates open for 24 hours?” She added that the booms should remain unless they were in a main thoroughfare. “The by-laws should change. They were probably written long before crime was so high.”

Ryan O’Connor predicts lots of resistance to the proposal because people would feel less secure. “I agree to an extent but don’t know if it is right.”

David Smith, who also lives in a boomed area, says it adds to a false sense of security, “but each individual, each family and each community needs to do what they need to do to ensure security. We are talking about life and death here,” he said.


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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Mickey

    Dec 19, 2016 at 5:49 am

    ‘you have all missed the point, they only want to remove illigal booms, not properly ones where all the procedures were correctly carried out.’

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Letters/Discussion Forums

“Clearly you’re a Zionist, going around demanding shit”



I’m so sad that I came across this terrible article (“Professor of propaganda” by Howard Sackstein, SA Jewish Report, 3 June 2021).

First, I’m a Wits-trained doctor, and I admire doctors like Professor Shabir Moosa who are able to step outside their comfort zones and challenge the minds and beliefs of their younger doctors. South Africa needs more doctors that stand up for what’s right. Israel is an apartheid state. Please stop denying it! You’re basically killing Arabs and jailing innocent kids. You have no humanity as a Zionist.

Second, he posted his article on this group, and that made interns feel uncomfortable! Oh please, grow up! It’s a bunch of white men trying to bully us into acting in a way suitable for them. Imagine, a bunch of privileged white men felt uncomfortable for the first time in their life!

Third, screw the author! That he thinks he has any authority to report and demand “action”. Who do you think you are? Clearly, you’re a Zionist. Going around demanding shit. When you deserve nothing.

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Letters/Discussion Forums

Why seek citizenship of murderous Lithuania?



“Most of our ancestors were forced to flee Lithuania in terrible circumstances, and restoring our citizenship will go a long way to address the wrongs of the past.” I find these words by the national vice-president of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies to be shameful and incomprehensible. To claim, as Zev Krengel does, that ex-Lithuanian Jews have an ancestral right to citizenship is an insult to the G-d of Israel. The only country to which any Jew has an ancestral right is the land of Israel.

When the Nazis marched into Lithuania in 1941, the government and people (with a handful of exceptions) didn’t lift a finger as Jews in more than 200 shtetls were humiliated, tortured, and ultimately murdered by Lithuanian collaborators. Which Jew with pure emotions would now wish to seek citizenship of that country, or any European country which willingly aided and abetted Nazi murderers?

The yizkor (remembrance) prayer that Jews recite in synagogues four times a year includes one for martyrs: “May G-d remember the souls of the holy and pure ones who were murdered, gassed, burned, strangled for the sanctification of the name through the hands of the German oppressors and their collaborators. (Yemach s’hmom v’zichron – may their name and memory be obliterated.) No, Mr Krengel, no amount of time will “restore the wrongs of the past”.

The most tragic event in Jewish history – the Holocaust – has taught the Jewish people that it’s forbidden for us to derive any benefit from countries that persecuted our people. (Hilchot Sanhedrin 15:9). How can any Jew with pure emotions associate with these places, much less seek citizenship?

With all due respect to Krengel and all those who seek citizenship of these murderous countries, may I humbly suggest that you rather seek citizenship in your one and only true ancestral homeland – the land of Israel. Seeking citizenship anywhere but Israel, after 2 000 years of bitter exile, is scorning G-d’s most precious gift to His people.

Further, I believe that to fulfil the commandment of “may their name and memory be obliterated”, no Jew should ever set foot in or associate with these countries in any way. It’s with dismay that one sees influential Orthodox groups spending money on resurrecting Judaism in these murderous countries instead of obliterating their names.

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Letters/Discussion Forums

None of us are angels, but condemnation of Israel is truly sick



I’m appalled by prominent members of our government, even one of our own – Ronnie Kasrils – who has the gall to speak out against Israel, Zionism, and the Jews for what happened recently in Gaza, even to the extent of mentioning a Jewish policeman or soldier with his knee on a dead Palestinian child. This isn’t the way Jews behave. We are very conscious of our Judaism and families, and kindness is in our genetic make-up.

The photo I’m referring to was taken years ago, in a completely foreign country, and it incites hate where it doesn’t belong.

Sick people have caused anxiety and fear during the pandemic by publishing pictures of COVID-19-related crimes and other lies on Facebook and WhatsApp, and by publishing old photos and leading us to believe that they are fresh situations.

None of us are angels who never sin. But can anyone truly believe that no action should be taken against 4 000 rockets fired at a country indiscriminately? Does any other army in the world advise the perpetrators that they should evacuate because they don’t want to hurt or kill innocent people when they retaliate?

Well, Israel does.

In conclusion, Israel isn’t fighting Gazans, it’s fighting Hamas. The people who run Gaza are Hamas, not the Palestinians. They made the fatal mistake of allowing Hamas to run their country. It uses them as shields and doesn’t give a damn about their safety or well-being.

So, wake up South Africa, and all who condemn Israel for defending its citizens – you would do the same!

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