During his first visit to a region affected by the unrest that lasted for a week, the President of South Africa stated that “anarchy and chaos” will not happen in the country.
President Cyril Ramaphosa claimed during his first visit to areas affected by the country’s worst unrest in the post-apartheid era that the deadly violence and robberies that have shocked South Africa in the past week were planned.
“Obviously, all these unrest and robberies are incitement, and someone planned and coordinated,” he said on Friday.
Ramaphosa made the above remarks during a visit to the city of Ethikwini, which includes the port city of Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, one of the worst-hit areas in a week, destroying hundreds of businesses. At least 117 people were killed, some were shot, and some were killed in a robbery and stampede.
Ramaphosa told reporters: “We are hunting them down. We have identified many people. We will not allow anarchy and chaos to happen in our country.”
The government said on Thursday that one of the suspected instigators had been arrested and 11 others were under surveillance. During the riots, a total of 2,203 people were arrested for various crimes including theft.
However, Ramaphosa did acknowledge that his government could have acted “faster” to prevent riots, and expressed concern about the growing ethnic tension in KwaZulu-Natal.
After Ramaphosa’s predecessor, Jacob Zuma, gained support from the poor and loyal in the ruling African National Congress (ANC), protests broke out one day, and he was sentenced to 15 for refusing to testify in a corruption investigation. Months imprisonment.
They quickly turned into a robbery because the crowd robbed shopping centers and warehouses and dragged away the goods next to the police station, seemingly powerless.
South Africa has deployed more than 20,000 defense personnel to assist the police in quelling the unrest.
This is one of the largest deployments of troops since the end of the white minority rule in 1994. The government stated that as of Thursday morning, 10,000 soldiers had taken to the streets, and the South African Defence Force had also summoned a reserve force of all 12,000 soldiers.
Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, Minister of Ramaphosa’s office, said at a press conference on Thursday that although Johannesburg has returned to relative calm, the situation in KwaZulu-Natal is “still unstable”.
The well-respected business lobby of the Business Alliance of South Africa (BUSA) called on the government to impose a 24-hour curfew to quickly curb the riots.
“This is an unprecedented emergency in the history of our democracy and requires immediate action by the state,” it said in a statement on Thursday.
“We believe this must include imposing curfews in specific areas to clear streets and allow law enforcement agencies to regain control,” it said.
It echoes the concerns expressed by Ramaphosa about supply chain disruption, including energy, food, and the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.