Yesterday morning I woke up, opened my eyes, and got quite a fright. Through my window I witnessed a man walking across my lawn, wearing a red overall and a red helmet. Now the only people I recall wearing this kind of outfit are the notorious Red Ants! And Red Ants are what you don’t want to see walking around on your property!
The services of the men in red overalls are used by municipalities around South Africa (especially Johannesburg) to evict people from private properties, and even to control Police raids - their style has at times upset people as they can become rather radical and violent. The Red Ants are traditionally equipped with a red helmet with a visor, and a crow bar (much scarier than baseball bats!).
I witnessed the Red Ants first hand a couple of years ago when I went on a photo shoot in Hillbrow with the Police, who where conducting drug raids and arresting illegal immigrants. The Police would drive in a convoy around Hillbrow with a large truck following them. That truck was filled with the special guard, who would start jumping out the truck like paratroopers securing the targeted parameters by building human walls around entire office/flat blocks. This was an all night operation so there would be a second shift of Red Ants sleeping in the truck whilst the first shift did their bit. The astounding thing about that was the fact that the first shift of Red Ants would literally stand on and between the sleeping shift whilst traveling on the truck. And we are talking allot of Ants here, just imagine how many people it would take to secure a parameter around a couple of blocks in town - allot!
Not many people know about this special guard / security service and I found surprisingly little information on the net trying to get some images. I’ll find my pics and add them to the post here later. But in the mean time, if you see a group of red overalled and helmeted people walking through your property then two things are possible:
1. You didn’t pay your rent!
2. You ordered the gardening service!
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