Judges, judicial facilities and identified political persons prioritised in security measures
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THE SAPS says measures have been put in place for the security of the judiciary and political persons.
“An operational plan was compiled in accordance with the level of threats applicable to the judiciary and political persons,” strategic management head major general Leon Rabie said on Friday.
Briefing the police portfolio earlier, Rabie said there was static protection at facilities, including the Constitutional Court, Office of Chief Justice, State Capture venue and residences of identified judges of the Constitutional Court.
“Eight judges were identified that require to be provided with protection and security and political persons.”
In his report to the committee, Rabie said with effect from night shift on July 15, deployment would be increased at all judiciary facilities and identified political office bearers such as ministers within the justice crime prevention services and the premiers of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
The beefing up of security to members of the judiciary and political persons takes place as the critical infrastructure was being monitored.
“We facilitate deployment of security forces,” Rabie said.
The critical infrastructure monitored by the SAPS on a daily basis are the following:
ꟷ All International Airports and Harbours;
ꟷ National and Provincial Transport Routes;
ꟷ Malls and Shopping Centres;
ꟷ Warehouses housing hazardous material, Covid-19 vaccines, oxygen, non-hazardous material and food;
ꟷ Factories manufacturing or using hazardous material,s oxygen, non-hazardous material and food;
ꟷ Liquor outlets and distributors; and
ꟷ Firearm dealers.
The beefing up of heightened monitoring and security measures take place against the background of the KwaZulu-Natal situation being relatively calm.
“There are sporadic incidents relating to looted items lying on the streets. No looting is taking place at malls and shopping centres.”
Rabie said the security forces were deployed to the harbour, airport, at high-risk malls, refineries and N3 route.
Gauteng situation was calm, with SAPS following up on looted items and escorting recovery of damaged ATMs and distribution of food.
Rabie revealed that there were attempts made to target critical infrastructure.
These were the following:
ꟷ The targeting of schools with feeding schemes in KwaZulu-Natal;
ꟷ Targeting of the King Shaka International Airport, Richards Bay and Durban Ports;
ꟷ Threats against the Impala Eskom Sub-Station in Empangeni were thwarted on 14 July 2021;
ꟷ Distribution centres located in Cato Ridge, KwaZulu-Natal, the Value Logistics Warehouse (eThekwini) were targeted in addition to some companies in the River Horse Valley Industrial Area.
However, the communities were beginning to group together and protect their areas and patrolling certain areas to prevent looting.
“It was alleged that some were using this as a cover with plans to target shops later,” Rabie said.
He also said there was no indication of widespread planning of a national shutdown.
But the public transport was being negatively impacted with taxi, bus and train operations being disrupted.
“This will impact on the economy due to lost wages as well as lost production time.”
Rabie also said the South African petroleum refineries (SAPREF) declared a “force majeure” regarding non-fulfilment of contract obligations.
“This may lead to fuel shortages,” he warned.
However, there were emerging threats that were monitored on an hourly basis.
The threats were sent being for operational response to ensure the validation of the threats and further action by security forces, if required, he said.
Rabie also said the SAPS were focusing on the escorting of essential and critical cargo.
“Meetings are conducted on a regular basis with the main industries responsible for critical supplies such as oxygen, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, fuel products, food supplies, industrial gasses and coal.”
Rabie also said the escorts were mainly focused in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, but escorts between the two provinces and other lower-risk provinces were also facilitated.
He said intra-provincial escorts were dealt with by the respective provinces.