State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has hit back at claims that the country’s intelligence service was caught missing in action
Durban – State Security Agency Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has hit back at claims the country’s intelligence service was caught off guard by the rampant looting in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
She said that SSA agents, working with the police, had averted “much more than was seen”.
“I want South Africans to rest assured that we did avert a lot. What you see is only a part of what could have happened. So, we were not missing in action as SSA and, I dare say, even the police were not missing in action. We tried our level best under a very difficult situation.”
Dlodlo was speaking at a Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster briefing on Tuesday.
Police Minister Bheki Cele said police had arrested 757 people in connection with the unprecedented looting.
Of those who were arrested, 304 were from KwaZulu-Natal and 453 from Gauteng.
He concurred with Dlodlo the country’s security services had been provided timeous, critical and sometimes unique analysis information to give early warning signs of potential risks and dangers.
“The law enforcement officers have used this intelligence information in responding with speed to the issues on the ground and attending to areas which have been identified as potential hot spot areas.
“As ministers, we are satisfied with all the reports we have received and we are confident that our law enforcement agencies are able to do their job effectively. In all our operations, we still have their responsibility to save lives,” he said.
Cele said the situation on the ground was under strong surveillance and he assured South Africans they would not let it deteriorate further.
“We cannot allow anyone to make a mockery of our democratic state, and we have instructed the law enforcement agencies to double their efforts to stop the violence and to increase deployment on the ground.
“As ministers of this cluster, we add our voices to that of our president and the many law-abiding and peace-loving South Africans who have strongly condemned lawlessness, violence and destruction that is currently happening in certain areas of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng as reported in the media.
“We call for an immediate end to this violence, looting and the disregard of the law, and call for an immediate return to peace and stability,” he said.
Cele said police planned to go after the “agitators” of the riots.