Weapons cache wake-up call

  • Jeff
From time to time, caches of illegal weapons are discovered in South Africa. Generally, the authorities have assumed the motives of those responsible to be criminal-related. However, if media reports are accurate, this does not appear to be the case concerning the arms cache discovered in Randburg earlier this week.
by JEFF KATZ | Mar 30, 2017

While AK47s and revolvers are typically used in bank robberies and other similar crimes, that is not true for mortar bombs and suicide bomb vests. For the time being at least, it must be assumed that a terrorist attack was being planned, or at the very least being seriously considered.

One of the immediate lessons our community should draw from this incident is how the weapons were discovered. On discovering a suspicious bag in a dilapidated building basement, workers did not ignore it, but immediately contacted the South African police.

Similarly, it was through careful observation and diligent intelligence gathering that the authorities learned of planned terrorist attacks in the past, including one in the last year aimed at an unidentified Jewish installation

It is a fundamental responsibility of our entire community to maintain the same level of vigilance when going about our daily activities. We need to be constantly aware of what is going on around us and in the event of discovering anything in our environment that might, if only potentially, be a cause for concern, to report it without delay.

High levels of vigilance must be maintained at all times, but particularly over the upcoming Yomtov period. The CSO runs a 24/7 call service (086 18 000 18), and will ensure that every incident reported to it will be followed up, thoroughly investigated and, if necessary, taken further.  

Tribute evening for Gerald Leissner, zt”l
This coming Monday evening, April 3, the SAJBD will be partnering with Yeshiva College, the IUA-UCF and the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre, in hosting a tribute evening to one of South African Jewry’s greatest-ever communal leaders and benefactors, the late Gerald Leissner.

The event will take place at the Yeshiva College (Glenhazel) Shul, commencing with mincha at 17:15.

In a communal career spanning over four decades, Gerald was at the forefront of some of the most significant developments in South African Jewish life, whether in the political, educational, welfare or Holocaust commemoration spheres.

Parallel to this was the enormous contribution that he made to the country as a whole. Following his passing in December last year, I devoted a column to reflecting on what he had done for our community and my own personal debt to him for all the advice, support and guidance given to me over the last few years. I hope that as many people as possible can join us in paying tribute to this great Jewish South African. 

Listen to Charisse Zeifert on Jewish Board Talk, 101.9 ChaiFM every Friday 12:00-13:00

 

 

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