SAPS on high alert in run-up to national shutdown

File picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.

File picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.

Published Mar 14, 2023


The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) remains on high alert to combat any form of criminality regarding the upcoming national shutdown.

The EFF is calling on the masses to take to the streets on Monday, March 20.

Leader Julius Malema posted a video message on the party’s social media accounts calling on everyone who is unemployed, concerned about load shedding, crime, corruption and gender-based violence, to join the shutdown to show that they are tired.

Speaking to IOL, national SAPS spokesperson, Colonel Athlenda Mathe, said they were aware of the messages and posters being shared on social media calling for a protest.

“Natjoints assures members of the public that it has thus put measures in place to ensure the safety and security of all people in SA.

“Those behind these messages are warned and reminded that prohibiting people’s freedom of movement is a criminal offence. Members of the public are therefore cautioned against spreading messages that seek to mobilise communities to respond to the protest,” she said.

Mathe said the Natjoints was calling on all people to work together with law-enforcement authorities to uphold and enforce the law.

“Any action aimed at contravening the law will be dealt with accordingly within the ambit of the law. To this end, the Natjoints is calling for the cooperation of the public.”

SAPS said the intelligence community through the Natjoints was closely monitoring the situation and the associated risks of the planned protest.

Mathe added that law-enforcement officers remained on high alert to prevent and combat any forms of criminality.

She said the respective provincial joint operations and intelligence structure was also monitoring the situation to ensure multidisciplinary deployments and that the necessary contingency plans were in place.

“The Natjoints assures members of the public that enforcement of the law will be executed within relevant prescripts to ensure stability in the country.

“The Natjoints encourages the youth not to involve themselves in any forms of criminality as having a criminal record may hamper their future ability to get/secure employment/jobs.

“All 1 160 police stations across the country are open 24/7 and will be fully functional and operational. South Africans can rest assured that key police services will not affected by the SAPU strike. The SAPS Act members which consist of operational members including front line police officers are deemed as an essential service and are therefore prohibited to go on strike,” Mathe said.

Communities are encouraged to report any wrongdoing and any forms of criminality to the Crime Stop Hotline number on 0860010111.