[This does not surprise me. Lots of people in high places are asleep at the wheel. Jan]
Ramaphosa must be held responsible for July unrest
24 August 2021
From the 7th to the 16th of July this year, South Africans witnessed large-scale riots, looting and the destruction of not only shopping centres and businesses, but also the economy of the country.
The latest estimations by the banking sector indicate that approximately R112 million in cash was looted from ATMs. These are the actions of criminals who exploited the volatile situation and not of destitute people who are starving.
In light of everything that transpired it is clear that the country’s intelligence services failed the people of South Africa. To make matters worse, it unfolded while the whole world was watching; the government’s incompetence was clear for all to see.
During the parliamentary Portfolio Committee’s visit to KwaZulu-Natal after the unrest, the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, denied having received an intelligence report from the State Security Agency (SSA) before the unrest broke out. He also denied that the Police Commissioner, Gen. Khehla Sitole, had received such a report.
The then Minister of State Security, Ayanda Dlodlo, however, maintained that she had indeed submitted intelligence reports to the police.
Whether there was any intelligence in this regard or not remains unclear. What is important today is that the information relating to the matter, if there was any, was not put to good use. The extent of the consequent damage serves as proof.
And this applies to all three intelligence services – the police force (SAPS), the defence force (SANDF) and the State Security Agency (SSA).
Yesterday, a similar campaign to destabilise the country was supposed to be launched. But this time around, the security services were properly prepared for it. It proves that if there was any information available last month and timeous action had been taken, the potentially dangerous situation that the country currently finds itself in could have been defused.
Another consequence of the events that transpired in July is that the public has lost its faith in the police force because they were forced to take the law into their own hands to protect themselves.
It is, therefore, wrong to label what happened in Phoenix – where the police offered the people no protection – as racism. As evidence to the contrary, consider what happened in Pongola where the entire community – white, black, coloured and Indian – joined hands to protect their town against criminal elements.
President Cyril Ramaphosa must shoulder all the blame for the recent unrest and ensuing events as well as the incompetence of the intelligence services and police. Nobody else is to blame.
Issued by Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus leader, 24 August 2021