No business can ever say with certainty whether or not it will be safe from the threat of political violence or terrorism (PVT). Even seemingly innocuous businesses can unexpectedly find themselves on the receiving end of violent protests.

Cameron Cupido, CEO, Reinsurance Solutions Intermediary Services

Political violence

This was certainly the case in September 2020 when Clicks became the target of protest action. A racist advert on the chain’s website sparked violent protests by Economic Freedom Front (EFF) members that ultimately saw seven branches damaged and more than 400 stores closed.

As a health and beauty retailer, Clicks was an unlikely candidate for political violence. However, this incident highlighted just how quickly events can escalate, affecting even those entities deemed ‘safe’ from such violence.

A business doesn’t even have to be the intended target of protest or terrorist action for it to suffer loss or damage as a result of these events. Just look at the service delivery protests in South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe in recent years. Physical damages, stock losses and business interruption in these cases amounted to millions. When citizens go on the rampage, no business is safe. This underscores the importance of PVT cover for all businesses, no matter their perceived risk.

Terrorism

While service delivery marches, wage strikes and politically-fuelled protests have become commonplace in Southern Africa, terrorism has been less of a threat. In fact, Southern Africa is regarded by experts as the least terrorism-affected geographical region in Africa.

Despite this assertion, terrorist activity has been steadily increasing in the northern reaches of Mozambique since 2017 in a violent extremist insurgency that has claimed more than 1,400 lives. This year, including during September 2020, these events have escalated dramatically. Concerns have been raised about this activity spilling over into neighbouring South Africa, especially if

A Tampa Bay Lightning fan whom police called on for screaming “shoot!” at the television during the Stanley Cup Final is using the misunderstanding to help raise money for domestic violence organizations.

Devon Garnett, 26, was watching Wednesday’s Game 3 of the Lightning-Dallas Stars series at a friend’s third-floor apartment in Tampa, Forida. The three fans were energized after Lightning star Steven Stamkos, playing in what turned out to be his only game of the postseason due to injury, scored an early goal.

On an ensuing power play, a fired-up Garnett recalled watching Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman hold the puck for too long.

“I was yelling, ‘Shoot! Shoot!’ because sometimes we get too cute with the puck,” he said.

This prompted his neighbor downstairs to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, believing there was a domestic dispute involving a firearm. According to sheriff’s office spokesperson Natalia Verdina, four deputies were dispatched to the apartment at 8:24 p.m. after the call. When police showed up, Garnett said they asked where “the guns were” because they were told there was a domestic dispute.

The fans explained the misunderstanding, opening the apartment door wide to show that the game was on television and showing them that they were decked out in Lightning gear.

“My exact words [to them] were, ‘We’re just cheering for Steven Stamkos,'” Garnett said. “They completely understood. Didn’t give us a hard time at all. The whole interaction, from when my friend answered the door and realizing it was the cops to them leaving, was maybe two minutes.”

The story spread among Tampa media and soon went viral, to the point where the Lightning invited Garnett and his friends to watch Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final at a party inside Amalie Arena. Garnett, who works in