Home South African Government calls for calm after spate of attacks

Government calls for calm after spate of attacks

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'No amount of grievance or unhappiness can justify the looting of shops, destruction of properties and illegal blocking of roads.'

Violence and looting wreaked the capital Pretoria last week. FILE PHOTO: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

Government has called for calm and restraint in those parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal where communities have raised concerns and grievances on various issues affecting them.

In a statement, government said no amount of grievance or unhappiness can justify the looting of shops, destruction of properties and illegal blocking of roads.

“Such acts constitute a criminal offence and the law enforcement agencies must respond without any fear or favour,” said Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Acting Director-General Phumla Williams in the statement.

She said South Africa is a democratic state that promotes robust dialogue and engagement with dissatisfied communities.

“As government, we will not allow anarchy and violence to be the order of the day. We commend the quick response of the South African Police Services (SAPS) which has resulted in the arrest of a number of individuals,” she said in the statement. 

With regard to the attacks on trucks, 20 individuals have been arrested in KwaZulu-Natal after responding to incidents along major routes and known hotspots in the province. These arrests relate to public violence and obstruction of traffic, possession of unlicensed firearms, attempted murder and malicious damage to property. 

In Gauteng, following the violence and looting of shops in Ekurhuleni, Tshwane and the Johannesburg CBD, 70 arrests have been made in connection with public violence, malicious damage to property and theft. 

Government said police will continue their work to restore order in the affected areas and government urges all law-abiding citizens to continue to work with the police and isolate the criminals. 

“Let us remain vigilant against fake news that is being peddled through social media platforms to fuel tensions within the respective communities. Anyone found to be spreading the fake stories on social media will be dealt with accordingly. We cannot allow those who want to portray our country in a bad light to succeed,” said Williams.

In the statement, government urged all members of the community to work together with the law enforcement agencies. Community members can report any criminal activities they have witnessed to the police using the 10111 emergency number. – SAnews.gov.za