President Cyril Ramaphosa, accompanied by Ministers Bheki Cele of Police, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula of Defence, Ayanda Dlodlo of State Security and KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala on an oversight visit in Ethekwini, KwaZulu-Natal assessing the impact of recent public violence and the deployment of security forces. Picture: Elmond Jiyane
President Cyril Ramaphosa, accompanied by Ministers Bheki Cele of Police, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula of Defence, Ayanda Dlodlo of State Security and KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala on an oversight visit in Ethekwini, KwaZulu-Natal assessing the impact of recent public violence and the deployment of security forces. Picture: Elmond Jiyane

’We could have done better’ admits Ramaphosa as he leaves KZN

By Kailene Pillay, Ntombi Nkosi Time of article published Jul 16, 2021

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has concluded his oversight visit to KwaZulu-Natal where he arrived to assess the damage and tensions left behind by the mass looting and violence that took place since the weekend.

Ramaphosa was flanked by a delegation of the Security Cluster ministers who have been in the province over the last few days.

KwaZulu-Natal has been the most hard hit by the raging riots and looting.

Limited information was divulged about the president's sudden visit to the province, which is home to recently incarcerated former president Jacob Zuma.

Mass protests turned into rioting and looting after Zuma was arrested and detained last week.

Ramaphosa's spokespeople would not be drawn on his visit to KZN throughout Friday.

Soon after his arrival, Ramaphosa made his way to areas that were worst hit by the violent looting sprees in Durban, such as Mobeni, uMlazi Mega City and Bridge City Mall in KwaMashu.

A number of buildings were looted and torched in the Mobeni area.

Ramaphosa said the government regretted that the situation spiralled out of control and admitted that “we could have done better”.

"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,” Ramaphosa told journalists during his walkabout.

He also addressed affected communities and business people.

"We will not allow anarchy and mayhem to prevail."

He also spoke of a rise in racial tensions brewing in some parts of the province.

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