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Defence minister admits looting and violence in KZN and Gauteng caught State off guard

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Defence Minister Mapisa-Nqakisa said the instigators of the attacks had even written on social media where the attacks would happen.

Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town – Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says they were caught off guard when the spate of looting happened despite earlier intelligence suggesting there would be attacks in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Earlier, State Security Agency Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said they had intelligence, gave it to the police and it was up to the police to act on it.

The issue of intelligence has raised questions on the quick response of law enforcement agencies to the attacks.

Mapisa-Nqakisa said the instigators of the attacks had even written on social media where the attacks would happen. In the end, it turned out 90% of that information was accurate.

DA MP Dennis Ryder had asked about the lapse of intelligence agencies to pick up information on the attacks, because they seemed to have been co-ordinated.

Mapisa-Nqakula said there was intelligence but it came too late.

She said the list of areas the instigators posted on social media turned out to be accurate. They had cited areas in KZN and Gauteng that would become targets of attacks and the roads that would be closed off.

“If you look at that, 90% of that list was accurate. Where we did not have information is that people would go to the malls. Unfortunately for us, when we are deploying internally it is to support the police,” said Mapisa-Nqakula.

When the attacks happened the defence force secured key installations including refineries and other centres, and they were caught off guard when the malls were attacked.

She said what happened was an eye opener for them in the security cluster and they did not want that to happen again.

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