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Who pays for damage, theft in student protests?

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The 2017 #FeesMustFall campaign has taken another twist with the recent looting of a Puma store located in Braamfontein. This incident has raised many questions among South African business owners around the insurance implications of loss, damage or theft related to the student protests.
Johannes du Plessis, legal advisor of RBS Insurance, says that while everyone has the right to assemble peacefully and unarmed to demonstrate and to present petitions, protests in South Africa often turn violent and cause damage and injury to property, businesses and persons.
“While the damage causing party is liable for the damage, the aggressors, in this case the students, are usually not in a financial position to compensate an aggrieved party for damage or loss,” Du Plessis says. “Therefore, it is important for business owners to be aware of and have the insurance provided by the South African Special Risk Association (SASRIA), which covers against riots, strikes, terrorism, civil commotion and public disorder.”
It is imperative that all businesses have SASRIA cover in place to ensure minimal loss is experienced during these unpredictable periods of unrest, says du Plessis.

  • Brian Myburgh

    Could SASRIA and the Insurance companies jointly and successfully sue the government for compensation, due to the government’s failure to curb these violent protests?