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With threats of national shutdowns, fake news is the enemy

File Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency

File Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency

Published Jun 16, 2022


Durban - Viral warnings of looming protests around fuel hikes and possible road closures signal red flags for security, a concern that has been heightened since the July unrest last year.

Private security company Dragon Protection Services, with its headquarters in KwaZulu-Natal, has cautioned that the province still remains vulnerable to a breach, given the manner in which the July unrest was handled.

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Founder Manhar Parshotam, one of the key figures in defending the province during the month that shook the nation, raised concerns for the future, especially with talks of the looming protest action.

This week Cosatu issued a notice reminding members about a mass protest demonstration for Friday against the fuel increase.

“South Africans citizens, particularly those of us that live in Kwa-Zulu Natal are not just paranoid after the July unrest, we are always on high alert,” Parshotam said.

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The security boss indicated that the powers that be did not act at on intel then and he hoped that the lessons were learnt.

“It’s common knowledge that intel was passed from department to department. However, the claim is that the powers that be did not receive the intel,” he said.

Parshotam also warned that fake news was a real danger, as seen in the recent events.

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“Social media becomes a hype of knowledge and intelligence. However, the security industry has proven that it takes a single incorrect message to start circulating and the entire country can become a powder keg,” he said.

As recently as last week, when a call was made for a national shut down, the entire KZN almost went into turmoil.

“It’s important for security companies to not feed off these and to verify what is going on on the ground before circulating and promoting fake news.

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“Every South African plays a vital role in country. Safety and security is a vital part of the pyramid of needs. Police, justice and intelligence structures need to very quickly ramp up their infrastructure and manpower.

“Accountability for failures needs to be harsh. Also, the entry requirements and proper training of members need to be properly done,” he said.

Related Topics:

Civil Unrest