President Cyril Ramaphosa to address the nation on Friday night
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Cape Town – President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address South Africa on Friday night, after conducting an oversight visit to eThekwini to assess the impact of the recent civil unrest.
During a briefing to update the country on the looting and violence, acting Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni confirmed that Ramaphosa would address the nation at 8.30pm.
Ntshavheni would not go into detail of government’s investigations saying it could jeopardise them, but said it was clear that the attacks were “planned and well executed”.
“All South Africans can realise that this thing was planned it was well-executed. There are live rounds of ammunition that are being found, there are explosives that are being found – which shows a coordination,” she said.
“We cannot give you the other evidence we have that the police will use in their cases and further investigations.”
She said government viewed the situation as fully stabilised now, as indicated by the reopening of major highways that have been reopened.
She said the SA National Defence Force managed to get the situation under control within 48 hours.
On Friday, Ramaphosa, accompanied by Police Minister Bheki Cele, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo and KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihke Zikalala, visited areas in Durban affected by the unrest.
They were assessing the impact of the violence as well as the deployment of security forces.
The unrest first erupted on July 9, after former president Jacob Zuma started serving a 15-month term at the Estcourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal, for contempt of court.
Zuma was sentenced after he failed to obey a summons to appear before the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.
As the protests turned to civil unrest, hundreds of shops were looted in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, trucks were burnt and buildings were set alight.
After a visit to looted Bridge City Mall in the KwaMashu township in Durban on Friday morning, Ramaphosa said government regretted that the situation spiralled out of control, adding that “we could have done better”.
“Yes, security forces tried the best they could, we are talking to our officers here, our provincial (police) commissioner, our minister and others. Yes, we could have done better but we were overwhelmed by the situation,” he said.