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Durban business owner’s desperate plea for return of expensive Persian rugs looted during riots

When South Africa went into a hard lockdown in March 2020 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, Janine Hofmeyr’s carpet cleaning business in Durban was dealt a devastating blow.

“If we got three customers throughout that period of Covid, it was too much,” she said of her family-run small business.

But just as her business, Spring Cleaning Durban which celebrated 10 years this year began picking up a series of events that started when former president Jacob Zuma refused to testify at the State Capture Inquiry and culminated in his imprisonment for contempt of court would see her business being dealt what she believes is a killer blow.

On June 12 a client in Gauteng had four Persian rugs – valued at an estimated R150 000 – delivered to Durban for Hofmeyr to clean.

The rugs were in the courier company’s warehouse on the night of 12 June when parts of KwaZulu-Natal became the epicentre of mass looting and riots.

The warehouse where the rugs were being kept in KZN was looted and all four rugs were taken during the chaos.

“We survived Covid but this is the last straw. If I do not find the rugs I will have to close my business down,” Hofmeyr said.

With the business in jeopardy and no income, Hofmeyr said her entire family’s financial well being was on the line.

“The business although it was slow during Covid kept us going. Now after this episode we won’t be able to keep pay the rent on our rental property and will have to move out and with that, the business will close for good. We are desperate to find those rugs. They have great sentimental value to my customer and I really need them back,” she said.

Anybody with information on the whereabouts of the rugs are urged to contact Hofmeyr on 061 460 1086.


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