FF Plus proposals to President for defusing the current unrest
14 July 2021
Today's meeting between President Cyril Ramaphosa and South Africa's main political leaders was constructive and the President undertook to take the various proposals to heart and implement them as far as possible.
As leader of the FF Plus, I emphasised that the civil unrest situation is extremely serious and that swift action must be taken to regain control over the various hotspots.
To achieve this, many more soldiers must be deployed to assist the police force. Also, the focus must be on safeguarding the main routes along which fuel, food and medicine are transported – these routes must be heavily guarded and patrolled.
My proposal was that 75 000 soldiers must be deployed again as at some stage last year when it was done to enforce the lockdown regulations. The 2 500 that have now been deployed are too few.
The current Disaster Management Act and the imposed curfew of 21:00 to 04:00 already afford the President enough power and capacity to take strict action and should the soldiers be deployed in terms of Section 201 of the Constitution, it would not even be necessary to declare a national state of emergency.
It is important to firmly enforce the curfew and those who violate it must be heavily penalised. Doing this will already have a positive impact on subduing the unrest.
The government must make it very clear that violating such regulations will not be tolerated.
I reiterated that the FF Plus is opposed to any form of martial law and that in the party's view, the national police intelligence structures, the defence force and the State Security Agency (SSA) are not doing their jobs properly.
If they had been doing their jobs, the current situation would not have occurred and enough people would have been deployed even before former President Jacob Zuma went to prison.
Closer cooperation is needed between the police and local security structures, like farm and neighbourhood watches. It is in everyone's best interest. Some of these private structures possess better crime intelligence than the police force.
The police force is not provided with adequate equipment and resources. In KwaZulu Natal, private organisations had to supply the police with additional ammunition.
The current unrest comes down to nothing but sabotage and economic terrorism and I made it very clear that decisive action must be taken as soon as possible to prevent utter anarchy.
One of the greatest contributing factors to the unrest and criminality is a new virus in South Africa called impunity.
People think that they can get away with committing crimes. Statistics indicate that a criminal has an 83% chance of getting off scot-free seeing as only about 17% of all criminal cases end in successful prosecution.
Criminals no longer fear or respect the police. Moreover, solutions must be found for combating general crimes, like officials committing corruption and getting away with it.
Such incidents have over a long period of time created and reinforced the impression that crimes can be committed with impunity. It cannot go on like this. The people who violate the law must be punished.
Issued by Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus leader, 14 July 2021