ANC to read riot act to members fuelling violent protests, warns Jesse Duarte
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Johannesburg - The ANC has vowed to act against some of its own members who are fuelling violent protests that led to the major destruction of property in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
The party also joined the SACP in urging law enforcement agencies to act sternly against acts of violence which left a trail of destruction in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
Some people calling themselves supporters of incarcerated ANC and former president Jacob Zuma invaded and vandalised various businesses, including malls.
Some of the people targeted various bottle stores in various parts of the country – the destruction happened while President Cyril Ramaphosa had prohibited the sale of alcohol after placing the country into level 4 lockdown on June 27. The ban on the sale of alcohol was reiterated on Sunday when Ramaphosa extended the lockdown for another two weeks.
As Ramaphosa addressed the nation, violence continued unabated until on Monday with various sectors of society affected, including the vaccination of people against the deadly Covid-19 pandemic. The violence also affected the payout of social grants in the two strife-torn provinces.
On Monday, Gauteng Premier David Makhura said his government remained concerned about the impact the recent sporadic acts of violence and lawlessness in parts of the province were having on the provision of services across the province.
“The current volatile environment has seen the people of Gauteng struggling to get to their places of employment due to limited access, and services being disrupted across the province.
“To this end, some provincial government services, including vaccination sites in the affected areas, have had to temporarily close due to safety concerns by both staff and members of the public,” Makhura said.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) teams were equally experiencing difficulty in responding to distress calls in communities due to limited access, he said.
Makhura said the situation was being assessed by provincial law enforcement agencies that were now being assisted by the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).
Similar concerns were expressed the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) chief executive Totsie Memela after thousands of grant recipients were left stranded at various paypoints in Gauteng and other parts of the country.
Detailing the reasons for the delay in payments, Memela said it was due to the unrest in the country that has been escalating over the past few days.
Memela said the Cash In Transit (CIT) industry has informed Sassa that it would not be providing any cash delivery services to Sassa cash pay points until further notice.
“This is to ensure the safety of Sassa beneficiaries as well as their staff. Beneficiaries are urged to remain calm and await communication as to when the payment at pay points will resume.
Commenting, ANC acting secretary-general Jessie Duarte expressed her outrage at the disruption of vaccination of people due to the ongoing violent protests which began on Saturday and escalated and spread to Gauteng on Monday.
Duarte made the comment when she divulged the outcome of her party’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting.
She said the meeting took place while several parts of the country were experiencing sporadic acts of violence, looting, intimidation and destruction of property.
“The ANC condemns these acts without reservation. We support the government in efforts to strengthen its response and take harsher measures against this rioting, looting and destruction of property.
“While these actions are being characterised by some people as a form of political protest, they are now clearly acts of sheer criminality,” Duarte said.
The ANC was calling on religious leaders, trade unions, civil society and all concerned South Africans to join it in condemning criminality, looting and wanton destruction of livelihoods, she said.
“The current violence in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng is having damaging effects on the economy and livelihoods. A number of business organisations have registered their concerns with the widespread vandalism and destruction,” she said.
“The ANC repeats that we will never tolerate attempts to respond to judicial or legal processes by threats and acts of violence. Law enforcement agencies must deal with looting and criminality, and the instigators of such acts must be brought to book.”
Duarte, however, said the ANC would also act against any people within its own ranks who have fanned the flames of these uprisings and called for, or are in any way involved, in inciting such violence.
She confirmed that Duduzile Zuma – Sambudla – the daughter of incarcerated former president Jacob Zuma will be one of the people summoned to the ANC offices to explain her tweets allegedly encouraging the raging violence in the country.